Title

Gender Differences and Attitudes of Cyberstalking Behaviors on a College Campus

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Abstract

Technology is continuing to grow more prevalent in society as advances in the field expand and flourish. With the technology boom and ease of access to the internet comes also the ease of access to stalking and harassment. Stalking has evolved to mean much more than simply following someone home from work or standing outside of their home inconspicuously. The internet provides a means to find anything about anyone. Anonymity is easily acquired behind whatever screen one desires, whether that be a computer, tablet, or cell phone. This in turn gives ease of access and anonymity to those who engage in cyberstalking behaviors. Cyberstalking is directly related to a behavior known as obsessive relational intrusion (ORI), where a person knowingly and repeatedly invades another person's privacy by using intrusive tactics in an attempt to get closer to that person. Obsessive relational intrusion includes behaviors such as repeated calls and texts, persistent voicemails, malicious contact, spreading rumors, cyberstalking/stalking, and even violence (kidnapping and assault). The definition of cyberstalking as used for our purposes is a perpetrator who threatens, harasses, preys upon, or causes fear in others through the use of stalking tactics by using the internet and any virtual platforms found therein (Pittaro, 2007). The information found within this study ultimately carries the potential to aid in the prevention of cyberstalking by providing a better understanding of the behaviors and traits that one might possess who engages in cyberstalking behaviors. Within this study undergraduate-level college student participants will complete a questionnaire online that assesses personality traits, behaviors, attitudes, and experiences with cyberstalking.

Advisor

Sean Lauderdale

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology | Higher Education

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