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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8010030

Prevalence of Cyberstalking and Previous Offline Victimization in a Sample of Italian University Students

1
Work and Organisational Well-being Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Torino, 10124 Torino, Italy
2
Department of Psychology, University of Torino, 10124 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract

Cyberstalking has been defined as the use of electronic communication devices (including the Internet and email) to stalk another person. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of cyberstalking between victims of cyberstalking and victims of cyberstalking and previous offline victimization in their lifetimes. Our hypothesis was that cyberstalking had an impact on victims’ wellbeing and contributed to increases in physical and emotional symptoms, anxiety and depression, and that those symptoms increased in victims who had suffered previous offline victimization. In an effort to investigate the effects of cyberstalking, a questionnaire was self-administered to 229 Italian students. A total of 107 participants (46.7%) indicated that they had been victims of cyberstalking. Seventy-two of them (67.3%) were victims of both cyberstalking and other forms of offline victimization in their lifetimes. Overall, our findings showed that the prevalence of cyberstalking in our sample was higher than in previous investigations. With regard to consequences, victims indicated higher scores for depression and anxiety than non-victims. In particular, victims of cyberstalking and previous offline victimization in their lifetimes experienced more depression and symptoms of trait anxiety than victims of cyberstalking only and non-victims. This investigation suggests the importance of preventing cyberstalking and offering support to victims of cyberstalking. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyberstalking; coping strategies; previous victimization cyberstalking; coping strategies; previous victimization
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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acquadro maran, D.; begotti, T. Prevalence of Cyberstalking and Previous Offline Victimization in a Sample of Italian University Students. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 30.

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