Bullying Perpetration, Victimization, and Demographic Differences in College Students: A Review of the Literature

Emily M. Lund, Scott W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although bullying has been widely recognized as a serious issue in elementary and secondary school and in the workplace, little is known about the prevalence of bullying in postsecondary education. We conducted a comprehensive search of the peer-reviewed literature and found 14 studies that reported the prevalence of bullying perpetration, victimization, or both in college or university students. Prevalence estimates varied widely been studies, but on average about 20–25% of students reported noncyberbullying victimization during college and 10–15% reported cyberbullying victimization. Similarly, approximately 20% of students on average reported perpetrating noncyberbullying during college, with about 5% reporting cyber perpetration. Men were more likely to report perpetration, but no consistent gender differences in victimization were found. Few studies reported prevalence by sexual orientation or race/ethnicity, and none reported prevalence by disability status. Overall, these results indicate that bullying continues to be prevalent in postsecondary education, but more research needs to be conducted, particularly that which uses multiuniversity samples and examines demographic differences in prevalence rates.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalTrauma, Violence, & Abuse
StatePublished - Jan 11 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • GLBT
  • Internet and abuse
  • bullying
  • violence against


  • Higher Education

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