Date of Award

7-24-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Jane M. Tram, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lisa R. Christiansen, Psy.D.

Abstract

Archival data were analyzed to explore relationships among trauma symptoms (i.e., anger and anxiety), social skills deficits, and severity of firesetting among adolescent male firesetters in residential treatment. Standardized measures were used to assess levels of trauma symptoms (i.e., anger and anxiety) and social skills while an idiographic assessment was used to measure severity of firesetting behavior. Zero-order correlations and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses that (a) adolescents who report higher levels of trauma-related anger engage in more severe types of firesetting than those adolescents who report lower levels of trauma-related anger; (b) adolescents who report higher levels of trauma-related anxiety engage in more severe types of firesetting than those adolescents who report lower levels of trauma-related anxiety; (c) social skills mediate the relationship between trauma-related anger and juvenile firesetting; and (d) social skills mediate the relationship between trauma-related anxiety and juvenile firesetting. Hypotheses were not supported, which may have been due to participants reporting levels of trauma-related anger and anxiety that were not clinically elevated. Alternatively, the nonsignificant results may have been due to insufficient power to detect statistically significant differences. Suggestions for future research are provided.

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