Preliminary results presented at the International Association for Relationship Research Conference, July 17–20, 2008, in Providence, RI, and at the Conference of the Division of Forensic Psychology, June 23–25, 2009, in Preston, UK.
PAPER PSYCHIATRY & BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
Effect of the Breakup Context on Unwanted Pursuit Behavior Perpetration Between Former Partners*
Article first published online: 6 APR 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 934–941, July 2011
How to Cite
De Smet, O., Buysse, A. and Brondeel, R. (2011), Effect of the Breakup Context on Unwanted Pursuit Behavior Perpetration Between Former Partners. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: 934–941. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01745.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 6 APR 2011
- Received 9 Feb. 2010; and in revised form 29 April 2010; accepted 16 May 2010.
- forensic science;
- unwanted pursuit;
- individual adjustment;
- locus of cause;
- count data
Abstract: Former partners comprise the most important subgroup of stalkers. However, contextual factors related to the breakup are hardly examined to explain ex-partner pursuit. In a community sample of 194 separated persons, about one-fifth perpetrated at least one unwanted pursuit behavior in the past 2 weeks. Being female, lowly educated, and socially undesirable raised the number of perpetrated behaviors. Beyond these effects, the number of behaviors increased when the cause of the break was attributed to the ex-partner or external factors and when the ex was appraised as the breakup initiator. Breakup reasons, the ex-partner’s lack in meeting family obligations and own infidelity, also related to pursuit behaviors albeit inferior to subjective attributions and appraisals of initiation. Finally, participants who felt more anxious or lonely negative showed more behaviors. The results enlighten that the breakup context gains further attention. Clinical treatment might benefit from fostering cognitive reconstructions and breakup adjustment.