Prevalence and Correlates of Fire-Setting in the United States: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)
J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(9):1218-1225
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
Purchase This PDF for $40.00
If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
(You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP online-only ($86) or print + online ($156 individual).
With your subscription, receive a free PDF collection of the NCDEU Festschrift articles. Hurry! This offer ends December 31, 2011.
If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
Click here to login.
Did you forget your password?
Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send email
Objective: To estimate the prevalence, sociodemographic correlates, comorbidity, and rates of mental health service utilization of fire-setters in the general population.
Method: A face-to-face survey of more than 43,000 adults aged 18 years and older residing in households was conducted during the 2001–2002 period. Diagnoses of mood, anxiety, substance use disorders, and personality disorders were based
on the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated
Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV Version (AUDADIS-IV).
Results: The prevalence of lifetime fire-setting in the US population was 1.13 (95% CI, 1.0–1.3). Being male, never married, and US-born and having a yearly income over $70,000 were risk factors for lifetime fire-setting, while being Asian or Hispanic and older than 30 years were protective factors for lifetime fire-setting. The strongest associations with fire-setting were with disorders often associated with deficits in impulse control, such as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) (odds ratio [OR] = 21.8; CI, 6.6–28.5), drug dependence (OR = 7.6; 95% CI, 5.2–10.9), bipolar disorder (OR = 5.6; 95% CI, 4.0–7.9), and pathological gambling (OR = 4.8; 95% CI, 2.4–9.5). Associations between fire-setting and all antisocial behaviors were positive and significant. A lifetime history of fire-setting, even in the absence of an ASPD diagnosis, was strongly associated with substantial rates of Axis I comorbidity, a history of antisocial behavior, a family history of other antisocial behaviors, decreased functioning, and higher treatment-seeking rates.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that fire-setting may be better understood as a behavioral manifestation of a broader impaired control syndrome and part of the externalizing spectrum. Fire-setting and other antisocial behaviors tend to be strongly associated with each other and increase the risk of lifetime and current psychiatric disorders, even in the absence of a DSM-IV diagnosis
J Clin Psychiatry
Submitted: October 20, 2008; accepted April 21, 2009.
Online ahead of print: February 23, 2010
Corresponding author: Carlos Blanco, MD, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Box 69, New York, NY 10032 (firstname.lastname@example.org).