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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1997;25(4):541-5.

Stalkers: the South Carolina experience.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia 29203, USA.


Medical records of 18 pretrial detainees charged with stalking were evaluated at a forensic unit in Columbia, South Carolina from January 1992 to December 1994 and their records were compared with those of 18 offenders in the same unit randomly matched for sex, race, and whether associated crimes were violent or not. Compared variables included age, marital status, level of education, substance abuse, Axis I diagnosis, prior psychiatric hospitalizations, military history, and organicity. Significant findings show that alleged stalkers were better educated, less likely to be married or to abuse substances, and more likely to have military training and organicity when compared with other offenders. The prototypical stalker in this study is a single, educated male who is likely to have military training as well as some degree of organicity. He is less likely than other offenders to abuse substances. Replication studies are needed.

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