The Effectiveness of Educational Interventions on Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying Among Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2022 Jan;23(1):132-151. doi: 10.1177/1524838020933867. Epub 2020 Jun 26.


In consideration of the adverse societal, physical, and psychological impacts of bullying on a child's development and future, many studies have developed anti-bullying programs and educational interventions to curb bullying occurrences. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to examine the effectiveness of such educational interventions at reducing the frequencies of traditional bullying or cyberbullying and cybervictimization among adolescents. A comprehensive search was conducted using PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Google Scholar, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Only quantitative studies that reported the effects of educational interventions on reducing the frequencies of traditional bullying or cyberbullying victimization and perpetration were included. Seventeen studies (Ntotal = 35,694 adolescents, Rangechild age = 10-18 years) were finalized, and meta-analyses were conducted using a random effect model. Overall, the existing educational interventions had very small to small effect sizes on traditional bullying and cyberbullying perpetration (traditional: standardized mean differences [SMD] = -.30 and cyber: SMD = -.16) and victimization (traditional: SMD = -18 and cyber: SMD = -.13) among adolescents. Type of intervention (i.e., whole school-based or classroom-based), program duration, and presence of parental involvement did not moderate program effectiveness, but cyberbullying programs were more effective when delivered by technology-savvy content experts compared to teachers. Since existing educational interventions were marginally effective in reducing bullying frequencies, further research is needed to identify key moderators that enhance educational programs or develop alternative forms of anti-bullying interventions.

Keywords: adolescent; bullying; cyberbullying; review; schools.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bullying* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Crime Victims*
  • Cyberbullying*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schools