Nevin Manimala Statistics

The psychological consequences of stalking: cross-sectional findings in a sample of Danish help-seeking stalking victims

Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2023;14(2):1-16. doi: 10.1080/20008066.2023.2281749. Epub 2023 Nov 29.


Background: The experience of stalking presents a threat to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of victims. Although some studies have explored the impact of stalking on victims, few have gone into detail about specific mental health outcomes and their association with various types of stalking behaviour.Objective: To investigate the psychological consequences among Danish help-seeking victims of stalking who have contacted and received help through the Danish Stalking Center (DSC).Methods: We used survey-data from stalking victims who sought and received help from the DSC during 2015-2020 (N = 591). Descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, T-tests, and hierarchical logistic regression analysis were used to examine psychological distress symptoms and the relationship between psychopathological symptoms and stalking behaviour characteristics.Results: Victims reported considerable levels of stalking and psychological distress. Almost 80% of victims reported symptom levels indicative of a diagnosable disorder of PTSD, depression, or anxiety. T-test shoved that following behaviour had the greatest effect size for PTSD-symptoms (t(575) = -5.81, p < .01, d = -.58), anxiety (t(576) = -4.21, p < .01, d = -.42), and somatization (t(572) = -4.29, p < .01, d = -.43). Hierarchical logistic regression analysis showed that stalking victims who experienced following had significantly higher odds of experiencing symptoms of PTSD (OR 2.869; 95% CI, [1.641-5.016]) and anxiety (OR 2.274; 95% CI [1.265; 4.090]).Conclusion: Being stalked is associated with substantial PTSD-, affective and trauma-related symptoms and psychological distress in general. Together with the strikingly high levels of psychopathology and the particularly grave effects of being followed, it is indicated that stalking is a special type of trauma with many negative and harmful effects. Hence, further research into how to properly help stalking victims through preventive interventions and treatment is needed.

PMID:38018419 | DOI:10.1080/20008066.2023.2281749

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