Stalking experiences and associated factors—A controlled population-based study from Norway
Nordic Journal of Psychiatry. | 2013
Background: Stalking is a considerable health problem. In order to develop interventions for victims, more knowledge is needed concerning prevalence, stress and coping related to stalking as well as associated symptomatology in the victims. This is the first population-based study of stalking in Norway. Aims: To examine the prevalence of stalking in relation to gender and time, and the association with indicators of socio-demographic status and mental health. Methods: A cross-sectional case–control questionnaire design. The sample, 5000 Norwegians aged 20–59 years, was nationally representative according to gender, 10-year age groups and county of living. A total of 248 (5%) of the mailed envelops were returned due to wrong address, leaving 4752 individuals as possible respondents. Among them 1520 (32%) returned the questionnaire, but 98 of them had to be discarded due to lack of completion, giving a sample of 1422 valid questionnaires (30%). Results: The total weighted lifetime prevalence of stalking was 16.0% (95% CI 14.1–17.9%), for females 11.8% (95% CI 10.2–13.5%) and for males 4.3% (95% CI 3.2–5.3%). The point prevalence of current stalking was 2.8% (95% CI 2.0–3.7%). The stalked individuals had a significantly poorer social situation and mental health than the controls. Few significant group differences were observed between males and females exposed to stalking. Conclusions: The prevalence of stalking was within the range observed by questionnaire studies in other cultures.
Keywords: Case–control design, Health-status, Stalking prevalence