Dr. Leila B. Dutton

"Types, Frequency, and Effectiveness of Responses to Unwanted Pursuit and Stalking"
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library


This study investigated the types, frequency, and effectiveness of responses to unwanted pursuit and stalking after the break up of a romantic relationship. Participants included female and male college students who were either pursued by a former partner (targets) or who pursued an ex-partner (pursuers).

Results from the study indicate that there are different types of responses in which targets of unwanted pursuit engage, including Moving Away (e.g., avoiding the pursuer), Moving Outward (e.g., seeking help from friends/family), Compliant Moving With (e.g., getting back together with the pursuer), and Moving Against (e.g., responding with physical aggression).

Dr. Dutton will present results indicating how often targets engaged in these responses and which ones were most effective in contributing to the cessation of the unwanted pursuit from both the target and pursuer perspectives.

Biographical Information

Leila B. Dutton, Ph.D., received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Siena College in 1990, her master's degree in psychology from Old Dominion University in 2000, and her doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Rhode Island in 2004. She is currently an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of New Haven.

Prior to her appointment at the University of New Haven, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire and then an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Salem State College. She coauthored an article on predicting unwanted pursuit in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and a chapter on the nature and dynamics of stalking in the book Intimate Partner Violence. Her main research interests include testing theories that explain why people stalk and identifying effective and ineffective victim responses to stalking.


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