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Characteristics of Cyberstalking Behavior, Consequences, and Coping Strategies: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Sample of Italian University Students

Department of Psychology, Università di Torino, Via Verdi 10, 10124 Torino, Italy
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Future Internet 2019, 11(5), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi11050120
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Techno-Social Smart Systems)
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PDF [269 KB, uploaded 28 May 2019]

Abstract

Aims: The aim of this study was to compare victims of one type of cyberstalking (OneType) with victims of more than one type of cyberstalking (MoreType) regarding (1) the impact of cyberstalking and (2) attitudes related to telling someone about the experience of cyberstalking and the coping strategies used by victims. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to over 250 students at the University of Torino. Results: About half of the participants experienced at least one incident of cyberstalking. Among them, more than half experienced more than one type of cyberstalking. Victims suffered from depression more than those who had never experienced cyberstalking. No statistically significant difference emerged for anxiety. The coping strategies used by MoreType were more varied than those used by OneType victims of cyberstalking. Moreover, MoreType victims told someone about their victimization more than OneType victims. Conclusion: The work presented suggests implications for health care professionals, police officers, and government. For example, our suggestion is to pay attention to cyberstalking victims and provide flyers in schools, universities, and cafeterias that explain the risk of certain online behaviors and their consequences in physical and emotional spheres. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyberstalking; anxiety; depression; online harassment; victims cyberstalking; anxiety; depression; online harassment; victims
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Begotti, T.; Acquadro Maran, D. Characteristics of Cyberstalking Behavior, Consequences, and Coping Strategies: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Sample of Italian University Students. Future Internet 2019, 11, 120.

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