A replication study of obsessional followers and offenders with mental disorders

University of California, San Diego, USA.
Journal of Forensic Sciences (Impact Factor: 1.16). 02/2000; 45(1):147-52.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to compare certain demographic, clinical, and criminal variables within subgroups of obsessional followers, and compare them to a group of offenders with mental disorders to attempt to replicate earlier findings. A static group archival design utilized a non-random group of convenience and a randomly selected comparison group. Sixty-five obsessional followers and 65 offenders with mental disorders were evaluated by psychiatrists and psychologists for court ordered reasons during their criminal proceedings. Both groups were evaluated during the same period, in the same court diagnostic clinic, and generally for sentencing determinations. The obsessional followers were measured on demographic, diagnostic, pursuit, victim, threat, violence, emotional, motivational, and defense variables. Inferential comparisons that used parametric and nonparametric statistics were done within and between groups on select variables. The obsessional followers had significantly greater estimated IQ than the offenders with mental disorders, but were neither older nor better educated. There were no significant differences in the high prevalence of both DSM-IV Axis I and II diagnoses. Obsessional followers who stalked prior sexual intimates were significantly more likely to have a substance abuse or dependence diagnosis. Obsessional followers who stalked strangers or acquaintances were more likely to be delusional. The majority of the obsessional followers, primarily motivated by anger, both threatened and were violent toward person or property. The modal obsessional follower is an average or above IQ, unemployed, unmarried male in his fourth decade of life. chronically pursuing a prior sexually intimate female. He is diagnosed with substance abuse or dependence and a personality disorder NOS, and has a prior psychiatric, criminal and substance abuse history. He is angry, likely to threaten her, and assault her person or property without causing serious injury.


Available from: John Reid Meloy
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    • "Galeazzi et al. (2005) found that 38 of 40 stalkers in their sample met criteria for at least one DSM–IV disorder; 17 had a psychotic disorder, 4 had a mood disorder, and 14 had a personality disorder. Fully 13 of the 14 diagnosed personality disorders were cluster B disorders, a finding consistent with the general stalking literature (Meloy et al., 2000; Mullen et al., 1999). Sandberg et al. (2002) found that most (75%) of those who engaged in STHB were at least 30 years old, and 35% were 40 or older. "
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    ABSTRACT: Most psychologists will be confronted by clients who stalk, threaten, or harass them at some point in their career. Despite the predictability of these challenges, most psychologists feel unprepared for managing them based on the training they receive. This study examined (a) the prevalence and types of stalking, threatening, and harassing behavior (STHB) experienced by highly trained North American psychologists (N = 157); (b) differences in the nature and extent of STHB that psychologists practicing in different specialty areas and endorsing different theoretical orientations experience; (c) the types of risk management responses that these experienced clinicians found most (and least) effective; and (d) the personality characteristics of clients who engage in STHB using a clinician-rated standardized measure of personality (SWAP-P). Nearly 3 in 4 psychologists in this sample had been harassed at some point in their career, over 1 in 5 threatened, and about 1 in 7 stalked. A majority of these highly trained psychologists reported feeling unprepared for these challenges. Results indicate a range of generally effective risk management strategies along with several clinical strategies that appear relatively more likely to make these situations worse. Forensic psychologists experienced STHB at rates nearly twice as high as non-forensic psychologists, and psychologists endorsing a psychodynamic orientation experienced higher rates of STHB than those endorsing a cognitive-behavioral orientation. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of the need for improved access for psychologists to empirically informed risk management training and recommendations for practice are offered.
    Professional Psychology Research and Practice 06/2015; 46(4):277-286. DOI:10.1037/pro0000025 · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    • "Both have relevance to violence risk assessment, although neither are prerequisites for violent acts. Violence without threats, representing a false negative for threats, has been measured at between 15 and 20% in the stalking literature (e.g., Harmon, Rosner, & Owens, 1998; Meloy et al., 2000). This suggests a tenuousness between the variables of threats and violence, something highlighted in earlier studies of threats and approaches to public figures, where the false negative rate was huge, as almost all who attacked or assassinated failed to threaten (Dietz et al., 1991; Fein & Vossekuil, 1998, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: The current study sought to examine the psychiatric characteristics and rate of subsequent violence among those who uttered explicit threats to kill. Data were drawn from 144 referrals of adults to a community-based forensic mental health consultation and treatment service. Each had explicitly threatened to kill a person other than themselves. Assaults were made by over 20%, including one homicide, within 12 months of assessment. Two participants committed suicide in the follow-up period. Factors found to contribute to violence risk were substance abuse, prior violence, limited education and untreated mental disorders. Threateners were often habitual in their threatening behaviour and typically targeted those they interacted with on a daily basis. Clinical characteristics showed a psychiatrically complex group who shared many features of other offender groups. The type of threat that led to referral for a mental health assessment was not uncommonly followed by violence. Factors enhancing risk resemble findings from other groups of offenders. Those referred for clinical evaluation typically have complex clinical presentations and marked deficits in effectively managing interpersonal conflict.
    Behavioral Sciences & the Law 03/2011; 29(2):141-54. DOI:10.1002/bsl.974 · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    • "Acts of violence (Brewster, 1998, 2000) 46 Beat face (Burgess et al., 1997) 56 Involved some injury (Fisher et al., 1999, 2000) 3 0 Injured (Gallagher et al., 1994) 9 Physical violence (Gill and Brockman, 1996) 14 Physical abuse (Hall, 1997) 49 Physical assault, contact, damage [of target] or property (Harmon et al., 1998) 46 Verbally or physically threatened or hit (Jason et al., 1984) 30 Physically assaulted (Kienlen et al., 1997) 24 Physical injury (Kong, 1996) 5 Physically harmed (Mechanic et al., 2000) 89 Physically violent (Meloy et al., 2000) 52 Physically assaulted (Meloy & Gothard, 1995) 25 Assault (Mullen et al., 1999) 6 Minor physical harm (Nicastro et al., 2000) 38 Violence against person (Palarea et al., 1999) 19 Assaulted (Pathé & Mullen, 1997) 34 Attacks (Sandberg et al., 1998) 38 Assaulted/injured (Schwartz-Watts et al., 1997) 39 Personal violence (Zona et al., 1993) 3 Sexual violence Sexual assault (Burgess et al., 1997) 19 Sexual assault (Hall, 1997) 22 Sexual assault (Kienlen et al., 1997) 4 Sexual assault (Meloy et al., 2000) 3 Sexually assaulted (Mullen & Pathé, 1994a) 32 Sexual assault (Mullen & Pathé, 1994b) 29 Sexually coercing (Nicastro et al., 2000) 13 Sexual assaults (Sandberg et al., 1998) 7 Force sexual contact (Sinclair & Frieze, 2000) 4 Pursuer also charged with rape (Scocas et al., 1996) 5 Sexually assaulted (Tjaden and Thoennes, 1998) 31 a All percentages have been rounded. "
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    ABSTRACT: The topics of stalking and obsessive relationship pursuit rapidly have gained the attention of social scientists, clinicians, and law enforcement professionals alike. This review takes stock of the burgeoning multidisciplinary literature in this area. The development of the concept of stalking and its corresponding literature is charted, delineating and contrasting the clinical/forensic and interactional/relational perspectives. The review and synthesis of current scholarship yields key conclusions regarding the incidence of stalking and obsessive relational intrusion (ORI), the various tactics and motives of stalkers and obsessive pursuers, and the consequences for victims. Further, a comprehensive typology of victim coping responses is presented, along with a sampling of theoretical frameworks designed to help explain perpetration and victimization. Several avenues for future investigation are proposed.
    Aggression and Violent Behavior 07/2003; 8(4):345-375. DOI:10.1016/S1359-1789(02)00068-X · 1.95 Impact Factor
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