Little is known about the patterns of mental illness in arsonists and how these compare to other offenders. A Swedish study of 214 arsonists (155 men and 59 women) compared them to 2,395 other violent offenders. The researchers found that the most common diagnoses among arsonists were psychoses and substance abuse. Compared to other violent offenders arsonists were more likely to have learning disabilities and Asperger's syndrome. The pattern of psychological problems did not differ greatly between male and female arsonists.
Enayati, Jasmin ... [et al] - Psychiatric morbidity in arsonists referred for forensic psychiatric assesment in Sweden Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, June 2008, 19(2), 139-147