Stalking Victimization and Substance Use in College Dating Relationships: An Exploratory Analysis

J Interpers Violence. 2019 Jul;34(14):2878-2896. doi: 10.1177/0886260516663899. Epub 2016 Aug 12.


Traditionally, most dating violence research has focused on physical aggression and has left stalking behaviors largely unexamined, despite evidence that stalking of an intimate partner occurs with high frequency. Moreover, the extent to which stalking victimization has the same negative mental health consequences as other forms of dating violence is unclear. Thus, using a sample of male and female undergraduate students in current dating relationships (N = 357), the association between stalking victimization and alcohol and drug use was explored. Results indicated that for both men and women, stalking victimization from a dating partner was related to alcohol and drug use, even after controlling for age, gender, length of dating relationship, and physical aggression victimization. These preliminary findings suggest that stalking victimization is associated with deleterious consequences; thus, additional research is needed to better understand the longitudinal, long-term consequences of stalking victimization. Additional implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: alcohol use; dating violence; drug use; stalking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Bullying / psychology
  • Coercion*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Intimate Partner Violence / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Stalking / psychology*
  • Students / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Universities
  • Young Adult