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Cyber Stalking, Cyber Harassment and Adult Mental Health: A Systematic Review

Stevens, Francesca, Nurse, Jason R. C., Arief, Budi (2020) Cyber Stalking, Cyber Harassment and Adult Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, . ISSN 2152-2715. (doi:10.1089/cyber.2020.0253) (KAR id:83544)


As Internet use increases, there is a growing risk of online harms, including cyber stalking and cyber harassment. However, there has been limited research investigating the impact of such online harms upon adults’ well-being. This paper engages in a systematic literature review concerning the mental health impact of online stalking and harassment for adult victims to further understand their experiences and the effects these have on their lives. Our research utilised the PRISMA technique to review papers published in eight online databases. A total of 1,204 articles were extracted, and ultimately 43 articles analysed. Forty-two of the reviewed articles reported that victims of cyber stalking and/or harassment experienced a multitude of harmful and detrimental consequences for their mental health including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and panic attacks. Victims recounted the lack of support they received from the criminal justice system, and their subsequent distrust of technology post abuse. Only one study found no relationship between cyber abuse victimisation and the well-being dimensions they examined. Our research highlights the need to devise practical solutions to tackle and minimise this victimisation. Furthermore, it underlines the necessity for adult education concerning safer technology use, as well as for researchers to be transparent regarding the platforms that victims have been abused on so we can better infer where and how exactly individuals need support to interact safely online.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0253
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Budi Arief
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2020 12:22 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2022 08:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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