Stalking by former intimates: verbal threats and other predictors of physical violence

Violence Vict. 2000 Spring;15(1):41-54.


Scant empirical research has been conducted on the relationship between threats and violence. The purpose of this analysis is to assess the link between verbal threats of violence and actual physical violence against former intimate victims of stalking. The researcher interviewed 187 female former intimate stalking victims, asking respondents about various characteristics of their experiences. Responses to questions pertaining to threats; history of violence; stalkers' drug and alcohol use; frequency of phone calls, "following," and letters during stalking; and victims' age and education were analyzed as possible predictors of three violence-related dependent variables: (a) whether or not violence occurred, (b) the number of violent incidents during stalking, and (c) physical injury during stalking. The results of linear and logistic regression models reveal that, regardless of the measure of violence, there is an independent, moderate, and statistically significant correlation between verbal threats and subsequent violence. Regression coefficients for drug abuse and alcohol abuse were also statistically significant, but only in predicting physical injury during stalking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Courtship*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive Behavior / diagnosis*
  • Obsessive Behavior / epidemiology
  • Obsessive Behavior / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data