Investigating stalking-related attitudes and beliefs

Dr Bronwyn McKeon, a clinical forensic psychologist at Forensicare, has had an interest in better understanding the kinds of attitudes and beliefs that might be related to stalking behaviour for some years. With Profs Ogloff and Mullen, she developed the Stalking Related Attitudes Questionnaire (SRAQ) in the early 2000s as a measure of ‘stalking-myths’ in community members.  The original version of the SRAQ has since been used in research in the UK and Italy. After a pilot with Australian stalkers in 2010, the SRAQ was revised and in 2012 the new 63 item version was tested with a new community sample. In 2015 this research was expanded by undertaking an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of the full SRAQ to refine and determine the structure of the instrument, in addition to establishing construct and convergent reliability. Test-retest reliability is being assessed in a 2016 project and a new 22 item version, called the Stalking Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ), will be published in 2018. This program of research is the first step in developing an understanding of the types of offence-related beliefs and attitudes that might exist in stalkers and will hopefully lead to more research into stalking-related cognition.

McKeon, B., McEwan, T.E. & Luebbers, S. (2015). “It’s not really stalking if you know the person”: Measuring community attitudes that normalise, justify and minimise stalking. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(2).

This research is conducted with the support of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Forensicare.