Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking victimisation among university students: A Narrative Systematic Review

ANNA BUSSU*, Manuela Pulina, Sally -Ann Ashton, Dr Marta Mangiarulo, Ellie Molloy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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With the increasing use of information and communication technology, university students are more vulnerable to cyberbullying and cyberstalking than ever before. While prior research has mostly addressed these adverse behaviours separately, the convergence of these phenomena in the education and lives of university students suggests the need to explore them within a more holistic framework. This study presents a Narrative Systematic Review (NSR) that focuses on university students (undergraduate and postgraduate) as victims. Out of 7,518 papers screened, only 61 were
eligible for the review, resulting in a comprehensive and critical overview of the risks and protective factors associated with cyberbullying and cyberstalking among university students. The analysis of the review metadata sheds light on the factors that contribute to victims' adverse
experiences and explores best practices and intervention strategies for supporting them. The analysis revealed more research on cyberbullying rather than cyberstalking among university students. Certain risk factors have emerged as particularly relevant, such as underestimation of cyberbehaviour and risky behaviour among victims, along with considerations of gender, age, mental health, personality, and previous face-to-face victimisations. The most significant consequences include negative emotions and psychological vulnerabilities. Self-conscious behaviour and seeking support from family and friends are considered the most common protective factors. There is a need for academic institutions to engage actively in preventing cyberbullying and cyberstalking through evidence-based programs. Overall, there is a gap in our understanding of the effectiveness of policies and programs at the university level.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 May 2024


  • Cyberbullying
  • Higher Education
  • Students
  • Cyberstalking; Narrative Systematic Review (NSR
  • Narrative Systematic Review (NSR


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