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Scale for Identifying "Stockholm Syndrome" Reactions in Young, Dating Women: Factor Structure, Reliability, and Validity

NCJ Number
Violence and Victims Volume: 10 Issue: 1 Dated: (Spring 1995) Pages: 3-22
D L R Graham; E I Rawlings; K Ihms; D Latimer; J Foliano; A Thompson; K Suttman; M Farrington; R Hacker
Date Published
20 pages
These studies attempted to determine the factor structure of a Stockholm Syndrome scale that would identify young college-aged women involved in abusive dating relationships.
Three strong factors emerged upon analysis of the 119-item Stockholm Syndrome scale. The three subscales created from these factors, and comprising 49 items, showed excellent internal consistency and good test-retest reliability. The three factors included Core Stockholm Syndrome (cognitive distortions used to cope with abusive situations), Psychological Damage, and Love- Dependence. There was an unsurprisingly high correlation between Core Stockholm Syndrome and Psychological Damage. Some of the cognitive distortions which defined the Core Stockholm Syndrome included denial and rationalization of abuse, self-blame, taking the abuser's perspective, and believing that love would stop the abuser from being angry. There was therefore a high correlation of Love-Dependence (the bond between abuser and victim) with Core Stockholm Syndrome (distortions upon which the bond was built) and Psychological Damage. It is also possible that psychological impairment, including a tendency toward borderline personality disorder, increased the likelihood of certain women becoming involved in abusive relationships. 3 tables, 7 notes, and 46 references