College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Common variables associated with the development of Stockholm Syndrome: Some case examples

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2007

Publication Title

Victims and Offenders

ISSN

1556-4886

Volume

2

Abstract

Stockholm Syndrome is a paradoxical psychological experience which both intrigues and often frustrates law enforcement and mental health professionals alike. Much attention has been directed toward understanding and defining the contextual variables associated with the development of Stockholm Syndrome. Since it appears that the formation of Stockholm Syndrome may increase the likelihood of hostage survival, discerning the factors that may encourage its occurrence is a priority for crisis negotiators. The purpose of this paper is to (1) analyze crisis situations using actual case examples in which evidence of Stockholm Syndrome has been reported and (2) examine the variables associated with the development of this phenomenon. Case information was obtained from the Hostage Barricade Database System (HOBAS) of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit. Results of this analysis conclude that some, but not all, factors previously hypothesized as requisite to the development of Stockholm Syndrome find additional support from this case analysis.

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