The impact of cyberstalking: the lived experience - a thematic analysis

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2014:199:133-7.


Cyberstalking (CS) can have major psychosocial impacts on individuals. Victims report a number of serious consequences of victimization such as increased suicidal ideation, fear, anger, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology. Research is largely limited to quantitative outcome research. This study examines the diversity of experiences reported by people who define themselves as having been cyberstalked. Thematic analysis was used to explore 100 CS victim narratives, gathered by means of an online survey questionnaire designed to capture structured text responses. Five emergent themes were evident in the data: control and intimidation; determined offender; development of harassment; negative consequences; and lack of support. Findings identify similarities and differences to traditional stalking, along with the necessity of support for victims and illustration of the negative impacts this form of harassment produces.

MeSH terms

  • Bullying*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Stalking / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological*