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Arch Kriminol. 1987 Jul-Aug;180(1-2):1-12.

[The Stockholm syndrome. On the psychological reaction of hostages and hostage-takers].

[Article in German]


The Stockholm Syndrome seems to be an automatic, probably unconscious emotional response to the traumatic experience of being a victim. It affects hostage and hostage-taker alike and serves to unite both, being victims of the siege environment, against outsiders. This positive emotional bond between victim and subject is a defense mechanism of the ego under stress. The priority in dealing with hostage situations is the survival of all participants. The Stockholm Syndrome may save the life of victim and subject alike, as it reduces the subjects tendency towards violence and thus the possible necessity for a seizure by the security forces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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