The Prevalence of Stalking Among College Students: The Disparity Between Researcher- and Self-identified Victimization



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Objective: Researchers examined the prevalence of self-identified and researcher-identified stalking victimization among college students.

Participants and Methods: A representative sample of 1,573 (70.1% female; 29.9% male) student respondents completed an online stalking questionnaire.

Results: Overall, 12% self-identified as having been stalked. Additionally, 42.5% (45.4% female; 35.7% male) of students reported experiencing at least 1 behavioral indicator of stalking victimization; however, only 24.7% of those self-identified as being stalked (25.6% female; 22.0% male).

Conclusions: Stalking is a serious problem in the college community. A concern that needs to be addressed is the disparity between the number of those who met the behavioral criteria for stalking victimization, but who did not self-identify as a victim. The consequences of stalking victimization are highlighted. Recommendations for addressing this issue on campus are detailed in a plan that may help improve the retention, progression, and graduation rates for stalking victims.