With K. Lankhof. In Christian Higher Education 19, no. 3 (2019): pp. 177-191

Despite an increase in the research on stalking, much is still unknown about the incidence of stalking in higher-education campus populations. Specifically, most studies report prevalence (defined as lifetime or longer-term occurrences) rather than incidence (defined as recent occurrences, often within the past year, or since being in college), or fail to distinguish between them. Further, even though independent religious colleges and universities represent a substantial portion of postsecondary institutions, particularly within the North American context, little research exists on how the religious characteristics of an institution might influence stalking. This study contributes to the literature by providing improved estimates of the incidence of stalking—conceptualized as obsessive relational intrusion—based on a sample of students (N = 668) from eight independent Christian institutions of higher education in Canada. Incidence rates vary widely in the literature based on variations in sampling, definitions, and measurement. Compared to published incidence rates ranging from 4% to over 40%, this study found that 18% of all students and 23% of women students in Canadian Christian colleges reported experiencing one or more types of stalking behavior five times or more since age 18. An examination of factors related to stalking victimization revealed that only gender had an influence, affirming previous research that women are at greater risk for sexual violence than men. This study provides evidence that these Christian colleges are not immune to various forms of sexual violence and that college personnel must be vigilant in developing policies and programs to prevent and reduce stalking on their campuses.

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Dr. James R. Vanderwoerd

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Christian Higher Education

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