University Students' Perceptions of Stalking : A Mock Law Enforcement Study

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julian M. Montaquila (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Amy E. Lyndon

Abstract: This study examined how students from a large southeastern university in the U.S. (N = 177) placed in the position of a law enforcement officer judged hypothetical stalking scenarios. Utilizing a 2 x 2 independent groups design all four scenarios varied the victim/perpetrator prior relationship (stranger versus ex-partner) and character sex (male perpetrator/female victim versus female perpetrator/male victim). Scenarios depicting male perpetrators and female victims were identified as more serious than that of female perpetrator and male victim scenarios. Stalking myth endorsement also influenced the degree to which participants felt the depicted stalking cases were serious. However personal stalking experience did not influence participants' judgments of the scenarios. The results suggest that stalking myth endorsement and the presence of a male perpetrator pursuing a female target are influential factors in one's judgment of the degree to which the pursuer poses a threat to the intended target and the subsequent need for law enforcement intervention. 

Additional Information

Date: 2011
Psychology, Judgments, Law Enforcement, Perceptions, Scenario, Vignette
Stalking victims
Victims of crimes
College students--Attitudes

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