Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-2013


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor Mario J. Scalora. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013, Allissa Marquez.


Although stalking has been recognized as social problem for the last twenty years, few studies have examined the treatment needs or effectiveness with these persistent offenders. The dearth of information on appropriate intervention is in part related to the difficulty of operationalizing stalking behavior in empirical studies. Accordingly, the present study sought to examine clinically relevant indicators of functioning using both categorical and continuous definitions of stalking behavior. Two hundred and fifty male prisoners were surveyed about their engagement in intrusive and aggressive behaviors during a significant conflict, as well as their social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. Results indicated quantitative cutoffs recommended by previous research overincluded generally aggressive offenders. Still, the stalking group identified by this approach displayed the ruminative patterns suggested by theorists. Furthermore, few proposed functioning variables predicted violence and pursuit intensity during multivariate modeling. Violence was only predicted by greater self-reported trait rumination, while pursuit intensity was predicted by greater substance use, greater event-specific rumination, and poorer conflict management skills.