Facts About Bullying in College

Bullying And Body Image

Educators can benefit from a variety of information including toolkits for bullying prevention in schools, teaching tools for diversity and school safety resources. Also, if the cyberbullying is a result of harassment based on a protected class (i.e, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, etc.) then the behavior will constitute a violation of federal law, which all colleges and universities that receive federal funding must comply with. It is important for students to know what their college or university policies are regarding bullying and harassment, and to take some type of action when they see cyberbullying happening. Unfortunately, in many cases, there are other people who know that the cyberbullying is occurring. This is why bystander intervention is so important. If a person knows that someone is the victim of cyberbully, that person should take some type of action to stop the behavior. Types of action they can take may involve reaching out to the victim, telling a friend or family member, or reporting the cyberbullying to campus safety.

The present study sought to replicate past prevalence rates, but with unprecedented attention to the nuance of bullying types. To our knowledge, no previous research simultaneously investigated both the traditional types of bullying and cyber-bullying; nor, to our knowledge, have researchers of higher education bullying treated physical, verbal, and social bullying independently, rather than lumping them together as the traditional” types. In addition to these methodological advances, the qualitative portion of the present study allowed for the identification of co-occurring types (such as social and cyber), a possibility not investigated in previous studies.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. For most of us, the term bullying” likely conjures images of pre-pubescent boys pushing each other on the playground or teenaged mean girls” spreading hateful rumors in the hallways. And while most of the fanfare this month is focused on primary and secondary schools and their students, bullying remains an issue of concern among college students as well. We don’t typically use the term bullying” when referring to these behaviors as they occur between those over the age of 18, but whether we’re talking about harassment, hazing, intimidation, stalking or other manifestations of interpersonal harm, the consequences on a college campus can be quite significant.

Policy-makers must also consider the fact that college students are identifying their roommates, significant others, fellow students, and faculty as bullies. Participants reported residence halls as the most frequent location for bullying, meaning that, at minimum, residence life staff need to be trained to recognize bullying and take steps to both intervene and prevent such behavior. Despite the fact that most bullying appears to take place where students live, faculty, more than another authority, were listed as the persons to whom students would report incidents of bullying. As potential first responders, faculty members need training in how to appropriately handle these reports. Faculty may also need to attend development workshops on the delivery of criticism, as several narratives made clear that faculty can cross over into bullying territory when attempting to deliver feedback.

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