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Factors Associated with Escalation and Problematic Approaches Toward Public Figures

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 56 Issue: S1 Dated: January 2011 Pages: S128-S135
J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D.; David V. James, M.A., F.R.C.Psych; Paul E. Mullen, D.Sc., F,R.C.Psych; Michele T. Pathe, M.D.; Frank R. Farnham, B,Sc,, M.R.C.Psych; Lulu F. Preston, M.A., D.Clin.Psy; Brian J. Darnley, M.R.C.Psych
Date Published
January 2011
8 pages
This study involves a careful dissection of six public figure studies, three involving U.S. politicians, two Hollywood celebrities, and one the British Royal Family.
Detailed comparison of factors associated with abnormal approach to the prominent and with escalation from communication to approach has not hitherto been undertaken. This partially reflects the failure of individual studies to adopt compatible terminologies. In the current study, common findings were unearthed across six headings. Approachers were significantly more likely to exhibit serious mental illness, engage in multiple means of communication, involve multiple contacts/targets, and to incorporate into their communication requests for help. They were significantly less likely to use threatening or antagonistic language in their communications, except in those cases involving security breaches. These results emphasize the importance of integrating mental health findings and preventive measures into risk management. Approach should not be regarded as a single behavioral category and has multiple motivations. Future studies should adopt standard terminology, preferably taken from the general stalking research. (Published Abstract)