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The wheel of change moves on: assessing the severity of stalking behavior

The wheel of change moves on: assessing the severity of stalking behavior

Stefanska, Ewa B. ORCID: 0000-0002-5685-0763, Longpré, Nicholas ORCID: 0000-0001-7485-2386 and Harriman, Rekayla S. (2021) The wheel of change moves on: assessing the severity of stalking behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37 (15-16). NP14672-NP14694. ISSN 0886-2605 (Print), 1552-6518 (Online) (doi:

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Stalking is a significant social issue. The inconsistency as to what defines stalking has resulted in the creation of different methods to measure the crime. However, there has been minimal work done that assesses the severity of individual stalking behaviours. The aim of the present study was to assess the level of stalking behaviour in terms of severity within a randomly selected sample of 924 cases from the database of the National Stalking Helpline. Item response theory analyses were used to assist in developing a scale that displays the ranking order of each stalking behaviour. These analyses were also used to examine whether the stalking behavioural items created a single continuum of severity of stalking. Results indicated that 16 stalking behavioural items of the 28 items present in the National Stalking Helpline, best represented the severity of stalking. Unwanted communication behaviours such as text messages and phone calls were located at the lower end of the severity scale whereas criminal damage and death threats were mapped on the higher end of the continuum. The findings also revealed that the 16 items categorised under 6 factors. The findings of the present study provide many implications for stalking agency professionals and criminal justice responses.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: stalking, severity, violence, scale, behavioral indicators
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2022 11:32

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