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Stalking: A Review of Selected Typologies and Theories

14 April 2006


The purpose of this paper was to examine the mechanics of stalking perpetration and the behavioral, psychological, and motivational characteristics of stalkers proposed by different researchers which have been presented in the forms of specific typologies and theory-based hypotheses. Eight different stalker typologies are discussed which classify stalkers and stalking perpetration. The majority of these typologies have examined the 11 . demographics of stalkers, the pursuit behaviors of stalkers, and the risk of associated violence. In addition, many have attempted to label stalkers into categories based on psychological diagnoses. Varied approaches and methods to classifications have been utilized by these typologies to study the phenomenon of stalking; however, despite these differences, the typologies are united by the study of the stalker's approach to the victim and his or her motivations for pursuing the victim. Seven different theories of stalking are also discussed, including relational goal pursuit theory, functional analysis of stalking, routine activity theory of stalking, attachment theory and stalking, negative family-of origin experiences and stalking, Meloy's psychodynamic theory of stalking, and erotomanic stalking in evolutionary perspective. A discussion of the definitional discrepancies related to the use of the term stalking in the literature is also presented.


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