Stalking – or Obsessional Following – is one of the least researched and most misunderstood phenomenon in contemporary society. It is often primarily related to domestic violence, celebrity harassment or sexual predation. Stalking is a serious behaviour that involves the repeated intentional and malicious following and harassment of a person causing that person to fear for his/her safety. Only the creativity and ingenuity of the stalker limit the variety of specific strategies employed and behaviours displayed. This thesis explores the possibility that stalking behaviour should be considered an addictive disorder. In order to support this theory – Firstly, this thesis reviews legal, forensic psychological, psychiatric and psychological definitions of stalking and of addiction. Secondly, the situation regarding stalking in Ireland is reviewed. Thirdly, the thesis reports on two research surveys conducted on (a) a sample of victims of stalking, and (b) a sample of professionals working with stalkers. All stalkers in question had indulged in distressing and potentially dangerous behaviours ranging from following, loitering in the victim’s vicinity, approaching and sending letters to use of physical violence, causing criminal damage, illegal detaining and sexual assault. The survey questionnaire was devised so that the results assess aspects of stalking behaviour that may be indicative of addictive disorder. The results were compared to the criteria for addictive disorder suggested by Goodman (1990). The conclusions drawn indicate that it could be conceivable to consider stalking behaviour as an addictive behaviour following further and more extensive research. Finally, arising from this research, suggestions are made for suitable treatment and support options for recommendation to stalkers, victims of stalking and people who have been affected by stalking behaviour.
We have developed the following database of research theses on bullying from all academic institutions in the UK and Ireland. The aim of this database is to assist those who are interested in the field of bullying and want to see what research has already been done. We have attempted to ensure that we have included all relevant theses here; but if there is an omission please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
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