Unwanted Behaviors and Nuisance Behaviors Among Neighbors in a Belgian Community Sample

Emilie Michaux, Anne Groenen, Katarzyna Uzieblo

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Unwanted behaviors between (ex-)intimates have been extensively studied, while those behaviors within other contexts such as neighbors have received much less scientific consideration. Research indicates that residents are likely to encounter problem behaviors from their neighbors. Besides the lack of clarity in the conceptualization of problem behaviors among neighbors, little is known on which types of behaviors characterize neighbor problems. In this study, the occurrence of two types of problem behaviors encountered by neighbors was explored within a Belgian community sample: unwanted behaviors such as threats and neighbor nuisance issues such as noise nuisance. By clearly distinguishing those two types of behaviors, this study aimed at contributing to the conceptualization of neighbor problems. Next, the coping strategies used to deal with the neighbor problems were investigated. Our results indicated that unwanted behaviors were more frequently encountered by residents compared with nuisance problems. Four out of 10 respondents reported both unwanted pursuit behavior and nuisance problems. It was especially unlikely to encounter nuisance problems in isolation of unwanted pursuit behaviors. While different coping styles (avoiding the neighbor, confronting the neighbor, and enlisting help from others) were equally used by the stalked participants, none of them was perceived as being more effective in reducing the stalking behaviors. Strikingly, despite being aware of specialized help services such as community mediation services, only a very small subgroup enlisted this kind of professional help
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1967-1994
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • unwanted behavior
  • nuisance problems
  • neighbors
  • acquaintance
  • neighbor dispute
  • coping

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