Adversity in University: Cyberbullying and Its Impacts on Students, Faculty and Administrators

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Aug 8;14(8):888. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14080888.


This paper offers a qualitative thematic analysis of the impacts of cyberbullying on post-secondary students, faculty, and administrators from four participating Canadian universities. These findings were drawn from data obtained from online surveys of students and faculty, student focus groups, and semi-structured interviews with faculty members and university administrators. The key themes discussed include: negative affect, impacts on mental and physical health, perceptions of self, impacts regarding one's personal and professional lives, concern for one's safety, and the impact of authorities' (non) response. Students reported primarily being cyberbullied by other students, while faculty were cyberbullied by both students and colleagues. Although students and faculty represent different age levels and statuses at the university, both groups reported similar impacts and similar frustrations at finding solutions, especially when their situations were reported to authorities. It is important that universities pay greater attention to developing effective research-based cyberbullying policies and to work towards fostering a more respectful online campus culture.

Keywords: campus culture; cyberbullying; health; impacts; post-secondary; relationships; safety; well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel
  • Adult
  • Bullying*
  • Canada
  • Data Collection
  • Faculty*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities*