The toll of stalking: the relationship between features of stalking and psychopathology of victims.

E. Blaauw, F.W. Winkel, E. Arensman, L. Sheridan, A. Freeve

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Information on the psychological consequences of stalking on victims is scarce. The present study aimed to investigate whether stalking victims have a heightened prevalence of psychopathology and the extent to which symptom levels are associated with stalking features. Stalking victims (N = 241) completed the General Health Questionnaire and provided information on specific features of their stalking experiences. High levels of psychopathology were found among stalking victims. Symptom levels were comparable with those of psychiatric outpatients. The frequency, pervasiveness, duration, and cessation of stalking were associated with symptom levels but explained only 9% of the variance of the level of distress. It is concluded that stalking victims generally have many symptoms of psychopathology. The symptoms are largely independent of features of their stalking experience. These findings indicate that better therapy outcomes can be expected from therapies focusing on boosting general coping skills and on decreasing general vulnerability than from therapies focusing on specifically dealing with the stalking situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-64
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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