Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Fritz, Patti (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This study sought to examine the effect of gender on perceptions of stalking following the break-up of a romantic relationship. 349 university students were presented with stalking scenarios in which the gender of the target and pursuer of the stalking behaviour were systematically varied. Participants were asked to rate the degree to which they considered the behaviour stalking, how concerned they would be if this were happening to a friend, and the likelihood that they would recommend help-seeking. Individuals were equally as likely to rate potential stalking scenarios as stalking, regardless of actor gender. However, participants were significantly more likely to express concern and to recommend help-seeking when the scenarios described a male stalking a female. This research is important in understanding factors that influence perceptions of stalking, which may have repercussions for the legislation and enforcement of stalking laws, as well as the likelihood that victims will seek help.

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