What mediates psychopathology in stalking victims? The role of individual-vulnerability and stalking-related factors

Rosemary Purcell, Michele Pathe, Gennady N. Baksheev, Andrew Mackinnon, Paul Mullen

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Stalking victims report significant psychiatric morbidity, which often persists long after the stalking itself has ceased. Elucidating predictors of psychopathology in victims is critical to informing the clinical management of this population. This study examined demographic, individual- vulnerability and stalking-related predictors of general psychopathology and post-traumatic stress in a community sample of victims (n ¼ 236). Regression analyses showed that both general psychopathology and post-traumatic stress were influenced by individual-vulnerability factors, particularly the use of avoidance coping, and stalking-related factors, most notably being subjected to threats. This study provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of factors that mediate psychiatric morbidity among stalking victims, and highlights the utility of clinicians focussing on modifying dynamic risk factors such as maladaptive avoidance behaviours to help alleviate victims’ psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Stalking
  • Violence

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