Assessing Stalking Behaviors in a Control Balance Theory Framework

Matt R. Nobles, Kathleen Talbot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    Tittle's control balance theory is a modern exemplar of theoretical integration premised on the ratio of perceived control exerted versus control subjected, which predicts the probability of deviant acts. Although the theory offers promise for contextualizing both perpetration and victimization, relatively few empirical tests have been conducted to date. This study describes stalking as a crime representing a unique manifestation of power dynamics and perceived control imbalances for both offenders and victims. Using a large college student sample, we assess the empirical associations between control balance and stalking perpetration and victimization outcomes, including gender-specific models, featuring several different operationalizations of the control balance ratio. Results suggest partial support for the theory, demonstrating that control surpluses are associated with stalking perpetration among men, while control deficits are associated with stalking perpetration and victimization among women, net of controls. Implications for control balance theory and stalking research are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)737-762
    Number of pages26
    JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Jul 2013


    • control balance theory
    • gender differences
    • perpetration
    • stalking
    • victimization

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • General Psychology
    • Law


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