Bridging the Gap: The Predictive Roles of Emotion Dysregulation and Stalking-related Attitudes on Offline and Online Stalking and Intrusive Harassment

Elisha Chan, Maria Rosa Viñas-Racionero, Mario J. Scalora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Stalking and intrusive harassment (SIH) are prevalent and serious public health issues associated with significant psychological, social, and economic consequences. Further exacerbating this problem is the growing use of technology and the internet, which has facilitated the perpetration of SIH behaviors via electronic means. Given its prevalence and negative impact, it is imperative to identify precursors of cyber and offline SIH to better predict and mitigate its detrimental effects. Thus, the current study examined whether overall emotion dysregulation and stalking-related attitudes are predictive factors of SIH perpetration. In addition, it was determined whether specific difficulties with emotion regulation and stalking supportive attitudes were differentially associated with online and offline SIH perpetration. Participants consisted of 874 university students who completed an online survey comprised of a battery of self-report measures, including the Difficulties with Emotion Regulation Scale, Stalking-related Attitudes Questionnaire, Obsessive-Relational Intrusion Pursuit Short Form, and the Cyber-Obsessional Pursuit scale. Logistic regression analyses revealed that overall emotion dysregulation and greater endorsement of stalking supportive attitudes predicted SIH perpetration. Moreover, emotion regulation difficulties distinguished the domain(s) in which an individual was more likely to perpetrate SIH behaviors. Specifically, those who reported more problems with emotion regulation, particularly a lack of emotional awareness, were more likely to engage in both offline and online SIH behaviors concurrently than to perpetrate purely offline or purely online. These findings have significant implications for stalking risk assessment and prevention efforts. In particular, understanding the predictive roles of emotion dysregulation and stalking-related attitudes on online and offline SIH perpetration can inform the development and improvement of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs, as well as stalking risk assessment instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)NP19331-NP19357
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number21-22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • bullying
  • internet and abuse
  • stalking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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