Identifying and Classifying Juvenile Stalking Behavior

Authors


Additional information and reprint requests:
Thomas Evans, Ph.D.
Center for Clinical Psychology
35590 Center Ridge Road
Suite 102
North Ridgeville, OH 44039
E-mail: cfcp@att.net

Abstract

Abstract:  Despite the growing research in the area of stalking, the focus has been on adults who engage in this behavior. Unfortunately, almost no studies investigate the prevalence of this behavior in adolescents. Two cases are presented demonstrating not only that stalking occurs during the period of adolescence, but also that there is a significant difference in the motivation underlying this behavior that can be classified similarly to that of adult stalkers. Further, a suggested classification based on these two cases as well as our experience with other juveniles who have exhibited stalking behaviors is proposed. The first case involves a narcissistic youth who also possesses psychopathic traits, while the second involves a lonely, severely socially awkward teen. Juvenile stalking is a societal problem that has not yet garnered the attention it deserves, and all systems that deal with juvenile delinquency (juvenile court, law enforcement, and mental health personnel) as well as the school system must be educated to the prevalence and severity of this yet-to-be-recognized problem.

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