Behaviors That College Women Label as Stalking or Harassment

Stalking is a significant public health and criminal justice issue. Lack of clarity exists about which behaviors constitute stalking or harassment. This study sought to understand behaviors that college women identify as stalking. Using a cor-relational design, 841 college women responded to stalking items from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Although 32% (n = 259) self-identified the experience as stalking, when a legal definition was applied, the rate of stalking identification dropped to 26% (n = 117). Specific stalking behaviors most predictive of an experience's being labeled as stalking were identified. Psychiatric nurses interact with individuals who experience stalking, which necessitates the importance of familiarity with stalking definitions.