The Influence of Child Maltreatment, Attachment Styles, and Pathological Narcissism on Stalking Perpetration

Open Access
Williamson, Allison
Area of Honors:
Criminal Justice (Altoona)
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kim S. Ménard, Thesis Supervisor
  • Laura Rotunno, Honors Advisor
  • Michael Arter, Faculty Reader
  • Child maltreatment
  • Attachment styles
  • Pathological narcissism
  • stalking perpetration
Stalking is a serious problem on college campuses (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2002). However, less is known about the reasons students stalk. This study used self-report student surveys (N = 1,287) on early childhood maltreatment, attachment styles, and pathological narcissism in order to analyze their influence on stalking perpetration behaviors. Obsessive Relational Intrusion scale (Spitzberg & Cupach, 2008) was used to collect data on stalking behaviors, the Child Abuse and Trauma Scale (Saunders & Becker-Lausen, 1995) was used to measure child maltreatment, the Attachment Style Questionnaire (Feeney, Noller, & Hanrahan, 1994) was used to measure attachment styles, and the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (Pincus et al, 2009) was used to measure narcissism. Results indicated that there was a significant relationship between child abuse, preoccupied attachment, relationship as secondary attachment, need for approval attachment, and grandiose and vulnerable narcissism and stalking. Further, mediation analyses suggest that the relationship between child abuse and stalking operates indirectly through pathological narcissism. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.