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Differentiating between Physically Violent and Nonviolent Stalkers: An Examination of Canadian Cases

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This study is one of a few that empirically investigated factors that differentiated the physically violent stalker from the nonviolent stalker. Using discriminant analysis, 103 Canadian cases of “simple obsessional” stalking were examined. Overall, the success of the model for classifying cases into one of two groups was 81%. Results revealed that the physically violent stalker is more likely to: (a) have a stronger previous emotional attachment toward their victim; (b) be more highly fixated/obsessed with their victim; (c) have a higher degree of perceived negative affect towards their victim; (d) engage in more verbal threats toward the victim; and (e) have a history of battering/domestic abuse towards the victim. Overall, the variables that best differentiate the physically violent stalker from the nonviolent one appear to characterize underlying themes of anger, vengeance, emotional arousal, humiliation, projection of blame, and insecure attachment pathology.
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Keywords: attachment pathology; domestic abuse; forensic psychology; forensic science; obsession; stalking; violence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-05-01

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