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RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based Upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 51 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2006 Pages: 147-155
Kris Mohandie Ph.D.; J. Reid Meloy Ph.D.; Mila Green McGowan Ph.D.; Jenn Williams R.A.
Date Published
January 2006
9 pages
This paper proposes a new typology of stalking, called RECON (relationship and context-based), based on researchers' review of just over 2,300 files that deal with stalking, criminal harassment, menacing behavior, terrorist threats, or domestic violence.
The practical value of the RECON typology developed from this review is in the distinctions it draws among four groups who engage in stalking behavior. One group consisted of individuals who had been sexually intimate with the stalking victim in the past, but the victim had ended the relationship. Such stalkers composed 50 percent of the sample. A second group of stalkers were acquaintances of the victims but had no previous intimate relationship with them, although they might desire such a relationship. These stalkers composed 13 percent of the sample. Twenty-seven percent of the stalkers focused their stalking on public figures with whom they had no direct personal relationship. The fourth group, which composed 10 percent of the sample, targeted private citizens whom they had observed in some context without having any type of direct relationship. The highest risk for threats and violence was in the group of stalkers who had been sexually intimate with their victims. The lowest risk for violence and threats was for public-figure (celebrity) stalkers. There was a negative relationship between stalking violence and psychosis. The variables that distinguish these groups suggest risk management strategies for law enforcement and mental health professionals. The typology was tested on a nonrandom sample (n=1,005) of North American stalkers obtained from prosecutorial agencies, a large police department, an entertainment corporation security department, and the authors' own files. Interrater reliability for group assignment was 0.95. Discriminant validity for RECON was demonstrated on a variety of demographic, clinical, pursuit, threat, and violence characteristics among and between groups. 4 tables and 43 references