Stalking Victimization and Emotional Consequences: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Between American and Spanish University Students

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stalking victimization, unwanted and intrusive behaviors, cross-cultural study, negative emotions, university students

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This paper entails a comparative study between a country that has criminalized stalking for almost three decades (the U.S.) and a nation that just recently outlawed the phenomenon (Spain). Employing a sample of American and Spanish university students, we examined the prevalence and types of stalking behaviors and victims’ emotional responses to their victimization. We also explored whether experiencing a particular category of stalking behaviors (i.e., surveillance and approach stalking) triggers specific emotional responses similarly among American and Spanish victims. We found more than two-thirds (36%) of the Spanish students (n = 638) and almost half (48%) of the American students (n = 411) reported that they have experienced the unwanted or intrusive behaviors included in our study. We also found relative to Spanish victims, American victims were significantly more likely to encounter approach stalking and report feeling anxious, angry, depressed, sick, and suicidal as a result of their victimization. Implications of our findings and directions for future research are discussed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, v. 66, issue 6-7, p. 694-717