The state of the art of stalking: Taking stock of the emerging literature

A meta-analysis of 175 studies of stalking is reported in which descriptive estimates of prevalence, sex differences, relationship origins, motives, threat and violence are provided. The moderating effects of type of sample are examined. Overall, an average of 25% of samples across 58 studies report stalking victimization, with each episode lasting an average of 22 months (N = 28). Females are more likely to be victims (M = 28.5, SD = 26, N = 44) than males (M = 11, SD = 8, N = 21), and between 60 and 80% of victims are females, although these differences reflect clinical and forensic samples more than collegiate or general population samples. Across 54 studies, 54% of stalking cases revealed some use of threat, which again was far more likely to occur in clinical and forensic samples. Across 82 studies in which some estimate of violence was provided, 32% of stalking cases involved physical violence, whereas 12% involved sexual violence (N = 36). Stalking clearly tends to emerge most commonly from pre-existing relationships; 79% of victims were acquainted with their pursuer (N = 62), and half of all stalking emerged specifically from romantic relationships (M = 49%, N = 53). Typological issues are examined in regard to types of stalkers, types of stalker motivation, types of stalking behavior, and types of victim symptomatology. Given the rich descriptive base of information about stalking, it is recommended that priority should shift to more theoretical issues surrounding stalking. These issues along with other future implications are examined
Spitzberg,Brian H.
Cupach,William R.
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Aggression and Violent Behavior
This meta-analysis summarizes the results of 175 studies of stalking. In addition to looking at variations in prevalence between studies, the authors considered the definitions of stalking and described the closely-related set of behaviors termed obsessive relational intrusion. The authors created systematic typologies of types of stalkers, stalkers' motivations, and types of stalking behaviors. Victims' coping responses and the effects of stalking are also categorized. The majority of stalking victims are women. Because the majority of victims (79%) were acquainted with the stalker, and because half of all stalking was related to romantic relationships, the authors recommended looking at most stalking not only as criminal behavior or psychopathology, but as a type of relationship terrorism similar to other types of domestic violence.
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Effects; perpetration; prevalence; stalking
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