Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma (2015) doi: 10.1080/10926771.2015.1079280
Although behaviors that we today identify as stalking have occurred throughout history, the recognition and systematic investigation of stalking are quite recent. Italy’s antistalking law is fairly new, and factors such as cultural myths, stereotypical beliefs, and definitional ambiguities continue to cause problems in the interpretation and recognition of stalking among the general public. This study examined perceptions and attitudes of 2 groups of Italian criminology students at 2 different times, before and after the implementation of Italy’s 2009 antistalking law. The Stalking Attitudes Questionnaire (McKeon, Ogloff, & Mullen, 2009) was administered to samples in 2007 and 2010. Results revealed significant changes in some beliefs and attitudes between the pre- and post-assessments. Interpretation suggests that the combination of Italian antistalking legislation and increased attention to research seem to have decreased students’ adherence to stalking myths.