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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 May;158(5):795-8.

Traumatic distress among support-seeking female victims of stalking.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. kp_kamphuis@macmail.psy.uva.nl



The authors examined the nature and prevalence of stalking behaviors, victims' coping responses, and the psychomedical impact of stalking on its victims.


Widely accepted self-report measures, including the 12-item General Health Questionnaire and the Impact of Event Scale, were used to assess characteristics of the stalking history and its outcome in terms of general psychomedical distress and posttraumatic stress in a community study group of 201 female stalking victims.


The majority of the victims had undergone multiple forms of harassment, including threats of violence in 74% (N=148) and actual violence in 55% (N=111). More than half of the victims met the criterion for clinically significant pathology on the General Health QUESTIONNAIRE: Stalking often yielded substantial posttraumatic stress symptoms, commensurate with levels found in other studies of traumatized subjects.


Support-seeking female stalking victims experience pervasive and persistent threat and intrusion; these experiences lead to high levels of psychological morbidity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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