The Problem of Bullying in Colleges

The hypothesis in this study is that college students, in this case, those of Kean University, are also likely to suffer from bullying just as high school students even if with varying degrees. This hypothesis is ultimately confirmed by the results of the research done that show evidence of various forms of bullying and its effects on Kean University students. The research results were then compared to results from other researchers. After comparison, the results from the study involving Kean University students and results by other researchers were found to be similar.

Understanding Bullying

The study established a positive correlation (p=.00) between cyberattacks and dropping from school and in doing so supported the paper’s hypothesis. This result confirms that there is cyberbullying in college and that one effect of cyberbullying is that victims become more likely to drop out of school. The result is similar to findings in another study done by Allison and William. A deeper look into the research by Allison and William showed that 8.6% of a sample of 799 students were victims of cyberbullying. Their result findings also showed that victims of cyberbullying became more likely to avoid friends and peers. The fact that victims of cyberbullying start avoiding friends and peers might be the reason those victims decide to quit school. Allison’s study used psychological scales. These scales measured levels of paranoia, anxiety, and depression that were then compared to a control group. In addition, the study established that those college students who were victims of bullying were more susceptible to suicidal attempts. Other research studies such as the one by Smith and fellow researchers in 2008 on cyberbullying had already shown evidence of bullying in high school students and other adolescents (Chapell, 2004). Prevalence statistics from a report by the center for disease control in 2013 showed that approximately 14.8% of high school students in America had reported being bullied. This particular research confirmed the hypothesis that College students were susceptible to cyberbullying and its effects. However, the prevalence statistics are less as compared to high school children.

Another important result from this research is that there is a positive correlation (p=.00) between parents influencing their students to bully others and the likelihood of the students avoiding school. There is a positive correlation (p=.00) between the influence of parents on students to bully and their probability to perform poorly. In addition, the influence of parents on students to bully was positively correlated with a drop in concentration in school by the students. These results show that Kean University students are susceptible to effects that arise from families’ bullying-related issues. The discussed results are similar to those of (Chapell, 2004) which showed that family factors such as violence support bullying and that bullying issues are influenced by parents.

There is a positive correlation (p=0.00) between contemplating suicide and reading recreational magazines. This result indicates that students who are contemplating suicide are likely to read recreational magazines as a coping mechanism. In another result, a positive correlation (p=.00) was found to exist between students that witnessed bullying episodes and concentration problems in school.

Strengths and Limitations of the Study

The literature selected for comparison with the current study is ideal especially because study samples were college students. In addition, the study instead of just looking at the effects of bullying it showed the link between a family’s influence on students’ likelihood of being perpetrators of bullying and the eventual effects. All the studies compared to this study used sufficient sample sizes that had more than 500 sample elements. These stated factors ultimately led to more merit of research findings and conclusions. The study also provided a firsthand opportunity of understanding how families may affect students concerning bullying. In addition, the finding that students are contemplating suicide read more recreational books gives a glimpse of how students considering suicide behave. It was observed that the lack of a control group made it difficult to ascertain whether research on other people of the same age group that was not college students would have led to different results. For example, if a control group of non-school-going people of the same age as those of Kean University was used, would the results have been the same? Lack of a control group ultimately meant that it was impossible to know whether the college setting played any part in influencing the outcome of bullying.

Directions for Further Research

As mentioned, earlier the lack of a control group made it impossible to know exactly what role the college setting played in the outcome of bullying incidences. Future studies should use a control group of people with the same age group as Kean University students but should include only people who don’t go to school. Further studies looking at the susceptibility of college students to bullying and its effects should also consider looking at the victim-perpetrator group of students.


This research study shows that college-going students are just as likely to be victims or perpetrators or even belong to the victim-perpetrator group of bullying. In addition, one research in the literature review for this study showed that teachers are also guilty of bullying although to a lesser extent. However, while carrying out this research, there was only one study chosen that used a control group to compare the results of a particular form of bullying to a non-college group. Through its results, this study showed the exact link between incidences of bullying and poor academic performance. It does this by showing that bullying leads to low concentration in school and school avoidance.


Chapell, D. (2004). Bullying in college by students and teachers. Pubmed, 39(2), 53-64.

Espelage, L. (2012). Counseling Psychologists in Schools. Counseling Handbook of Counseling Psychology, 29(2), 541-566.

O’connell, P. (2009). Peer involvement in bullying: Insights and challenges for intervention. Journal of Adolescence, 22(1), 437-452.

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