Women who are victims of stalking are two-to-three times more likely to show signs of emotional distress and depression, says a new report chronicling mental health and its effect on employment and earning potential. A group of economists, including Milano School for International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy professor Darrick Hamilton, found that women in their mid-to-late 20s were most susceptible to negative health impacts from stalking, categorized as frequent, unwelcome phone calls, emails, letters, and loitering nearby. Hamilton, who looks at the economic impacts of group-based inequality, has recently focused on the role of unemployment on mental health, as well as youth trauma and its effects on later adult life.
The study, the results of which were published in The Roanoke Times and United Press International, followed more than 8,000 women of different age groups between 2001 and 2003. Women who were sexually assaulted, as well as those citing previous mental health issues, were excluded. The research found that while those in the youngest age group (ages 12-17), were able to come away from episodes of stalking emotionally unscathed, those post-college (23-29) were harmed the most, with significant bouts of depression, anxiety and symptoms of post-traumatic stress.