Journal Published Online: 01 January 2002
Volume 47, Issue 1

Stalking: Developing an Empirical Typology to Classify Stalkers



Stalking has received a great deal of attention from the media and its harmful effects on victims have been well documented. Stalking is also more common than previously thought, leading researchers to classify stalkers into groups in an attempt to predict future behavior. Previous research has grouped stalkers based on theoretical models rather than trying to empirically examine stalking behaviors along with other factors such as motivation, type of relationship, and attachment style in determining a typology of stalkers. Female college students (N_108) who had experienced stalking behaviors responded to questions regarding their perceptions of those behaviors. First, these victim perceptions were factor analyzed. Then, cluster analysis grouped those factors to produce a four-cluster typology of stalkers. Cluster 1 (Harmless) appeared to reflect a more casual, less jealous pattern of behavior. Cluster 2 (Low Threat) appeared the least likely to become physically violent or threatening, or to engage in illegal behaviors. Cluster 3 (Violent Criminal) appeared to be the most likely to engage in physically threatening and illegal behaviors. Cluster 4 (High Threat) was characterized by a more serious type of relationship and may attempt to be more restrictive of their partner when first meeting them.

Author Information

Ben, KD
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Fremouw, W
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Pages: 7
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS15216J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15216J