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Stalking im Jugendalter

Prävalenz und Zusammenhänge mit psychischer Befindlichkeit

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1026/0942-5403/a000350

Zusammenfassung.Theoretischer Hintergrund: Die Folgen für Betroffene von Stalking reichen von der Beeinträchtigung des sozialen Wohlbefindens über negative wirtschaftliche Folgen bis hin zu gesundheitlichen und psychischen Problemen. Fragestellung: Diese Studie präsentiert erstmalig die Lebenszeitprävalenz für die Opferwerdung von Stalking unter deutschen Jugendlichen und berichtet Zusammenhänge mit der psychischen Befindlichkeit. Methode: Daten einer repräsentativen Schüler_innenbefragung in Niedersachsen werden mittels T-Tests und χ2-Test überprüft. Ergebnisse: Die Ergebnisse weisen auf eine Prävalenz von 22.6 % von Stalking hin, die bei Mädchen und Jugendlichen höher ausfällt als bei Jungen und Erwachsenen. Betroffene leiden häufiger unter psychischen Problemen und problematischem Substanzkonsum als Nicht-Betroffene. Diskussion und Schlussfolgerung: Folglich sollten Schüler_innen über Stalking sowie dessen strafrechtliche Konsequenzen und gezielte Unterstützung der Betroffenen aufgeklärt werden.


Stalking in Adolescence: Prevalence and Correlations with Mental Health

Abstract.Theoretical background: According to various definitions, stalking is the intentional, repeated, and prolonged pattern of behavior that focuses on persecution, unwanted contact, advances, and harassment of a particular person. According to the police crime statistics, 18,905 stalking offenses were recorded in Germany in 2019, with 15,904 suspects (including 366 adolescents) and 20,204 victims (including 821 adolescents) of these crimes being identified. However, one may presume a considerable number of unreported cases. The consequences for those affected by stalking range from impairment of social well-being and negative economic consequences to health and psychological problems. Objective: While there are first representative results regarding stalking experiences of adults in Germany, no such study among German adolescents is known so far. For this reason, this article is the first to determine the lifetime prevalence of stalking among German adolescents and to compare it with a sample of adults. In addition, it determines correlations with psychological well-being and problematic substance consumption. Method: The data of the present study originated from a representative survey of pupils in the federal state of Lower Saxony, in which in 2017 2,669 pupils gave information about their stalking experiences (sample: 47.6 % male, 28.0 % migration background, mean age 14.9 years). The adult study is a representative victimization study on (sexual) violence experiences of N = 5,335 18- to 40-year-olds in Germany, conducted in 2011 (47.6 % female, average age M = 21.2 years, SD = 6.9; 8.0 % migration background). Recording of stalking experiences was based on other epidemiological studies by specifying 21 different individual behaviors. In estimating the lifetime prevalence of stalking, we chose a more liberal operationalization (i. e., experiencing at least one behavior at least twice). We assessed the group differences and correlations using T-tests and the χ2-test and their corresponding effect sizes. Results: The results show a lifetime prevalence of 22.6 %, with girls being more affected than boys. In addition, those affected by stalking suffer more frequently from depression, anxiety symptoms, and suicidal tendencies and show higher rates of problematic substance consumption (alcohol and cannabis) than those unaffected. Again, these correlations are more evident in girls than in boys. Compared to the adult general population, adolescents are more affected by almost all stalking behaviors; this difference is particularly apparent in cyberstalking. Discussion and conclusion: In practice, it seems to make sense to educate students about stalking and the disregard of boundaries in partnerships. In addition, the criminal consequences of stalking should be explained, and it should be discussed how stalking can best be documented. Suitable contact persons should be named, and targeted support for those affected should be ensured.

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