Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Joelle C. Ruthig


Much research has investigated the impact of online incivility on people’s opinions of controversial topics, but less has focused on social perceptions of personal disclosure-related online posts, despite large online-based social movements such as #MeToo. The current study focuses on stalking and will enable a better understanding of how stalking is perceived. There are two main study objectives: to examine social perceptions of an online disclosure by a target of stalking behavior and to examine the role of online incivility on mood and social perceptions of stalking. Overall, both men and women responded similarly to the stalking scenario. Participants expressed more concern for the female victim, ascribed her more credibility and less blame compared to the male victim. Exposure to incivility was found to have minimal impact on perceptions of the stalking victim. Overall, findings have implications for how stalking victims are perceived and potentially supported based on their gender.