Straszewicz, A., Youngs, Donna E. and Ioannou, Maria (2011) Empirical test of the Mullen et al. Typology of Stalkers. In: 4th Cracow Conference of Psychology and Law, 4-5 June 2011, Cracow, Poland. (Unpublished)
Abstract

Mullen et al's (1999) motive-based typology of stalkers is the most widely used classification
system and the basis of the Stalking Risk Profile clinical assessment tool, yet the posited 'types'
have not been empirically identified. The present study therefore examined the evidence for this
typology using data derived from 50 stalking cases obtained from the Threat Management Unit
of the Los Angeles Police Department. Twenty-six offence variables were submitted to a
Multidimensional Scaling Procedure, namely Smallest Space Analysis (SSA). Stalking features
indicative of the 5 specific Mullen et al. types did not form distinct regions but overlapped, many
features characteristic of the putative ‘rejected’, ‘intimacy seeker’ and ‘resentful’ types emerging in more than 70% of the cases. Similarly, the 'incompetent' and 'predatory' features did not form coherent constructs. These results suggest that this motive-basis for distinguishing stalkers is not valid and should not be the basis for treatment or assessment.

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