This unit provides students with a framework to conceptualise different types of problematic criminal behaviour (including violence, threats, intimate partner violence and fire-setting) in order to better understand and manage clients who engage in these behaviours. The unit will equip students with knowledge regarding the psychological factors that are associated with common types of offending behaviour, as well as the current evidence-base for assessing and treating offenders with such problem behaviours.


Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Critically discuss the problem behaviour framework, and demonstrate advanced knowledge of how distal, proximal, individual and contextual factors explain problem behaviour
  • Appraise the empirical research into different types of problem behaviours
  • Interpret the links between the problem behaviour framework and offender risk assessment
  • Apply the problem behaviour framework to individual cases to guide the development of appropriate treatment and management plans for violence, intimate partner violence, threats and firesetting

Teaching methods

Hawthorn Online

Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
12.00 1 week 12
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
11.50 12 weeks 138


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual 35% 
Case FormulationIndividual 45% 1,3 
Case PresentationIndividual 20% 1,3,4 


  • Understanding problem behaviours (concept, framework, definitions, formulation, risk assessment)
  • Violence (definition, theoretical perspectives, risk factors, function, assessment, management)
  • Intimate partner violence (definition, theoretical perspectives, risk factors, assessment, management)
  • Threats (definition, theoretical perspectives, risk factors, function, assessment, management)
  • Firesetting (definition, theoretical perspectives, risk factors, function, assessment, management)

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.