Women convicted of arson: factors at the time of crime, psychosocial background and risk factors for recidivism

Victoria Andrén

Psychologist, Centre for Innovation, Research and Education, Region Västmanland
Doctoral student registration: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2019

Torun Lindholm Öjmyr, Professor, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University

Mattias Damberg, Associate Professor, Centre for Clinical Research Västerås
Jenny Yourstone, PhD in Psychology, Södertörns University, Stockholm University

Victoria Andrén´s research

What is your research about?
My dissertation examines factors at the time of crime, psychosocial background, and risk factors for crime recidivism for women who commit arson, compared to men who commit arson. The overall aim is to increase knowledge of female offenders of this crime in order to address their specific clinical needs.

Why have you chosen this area of research?
My overall focus and research interest concerns violence based on gender aspects - my dissertation includes these important and interesting parts.

How might your research benefit healthcare and its patients?
In recent years, reports have been published, such as the Swedish Research Council's survey of forensic psychiatric research and SBU's survey of treatment and assessment in forensic psychiatry, which shows that there are large knowledge gaps in Swedish forensic psychiatry. More research focus is also requested specifically regarding female patients. A common type of crime among female perpetrators is arson. Existing research on women who commit arson is relatively limited both internationally and in Sweden. Based on incidence and knowledge gaps, it is important to have more knowledge about individuals who commit arson, especially about these women, in order to enable preventive work, treatment efforts and risk assessment, in the long term.

How might your research benefit society and its inhabitants?
Deliberate fire-setting is a widespread and serious societal problem. The area is interdisciplinary and the theoretical and practical knowledge of different disciplines is necessary in the work to prevent deliberate fire-setting. The psychological perspective is central and important, with a focus on the individual who sets fires. Without an individual who sets fires, there is no deliberate fire-setting! I also strive to contribute with this perspective and this knowledge at a societal level, through, for example, collaboration with other actors and disciplines. Together we work to prevent deliberate fire-setting!

What subjects do you teach?
I am in charge of the element "Conversations about violence" in the psychology programme at Uppsala University, including lecture and skills training.

Examples of previous teaching in higher education:

  • Linköping University: on behalf of Barnafrid (national centre for knowledge on violence against children), and within the frames of a training course for university teachers, I lectured and was in charge of group reflection, on the subject of feeling safe in issues of violence against children, from a teacher and student perspective.
  • Örebro University: in accordance with Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), examined psychology students' clinical skills in patient conversations about domestic violence.
  • Uppsala University: on behalf of the National Centre for Knowledge on
    Men´s Violence against Women, I taught students and professionals in the subjects of domestic violence, violence against elderly, violence – vulnerability, honour related violence, and how to ask patients about their experience of violence, as a part of healthcare work.

I have lectured at undergraduate, advanced as well as specialist level (psychologists).

Last modified: 2022-03-30