Journal of Educational Research and Practice




Cyberbullying is a problem in educational settings, and much of the research has focused on the development of effective prevention and response initiatives. Because of the vulnerability of children, cyberbullying research and intervention programs have largely targeted elementary students. A growing body of research has shown that cyberbullying is not limited to elementary settings, but the problem is also prevalent in postsecondary institutions, with potentially severe negative consequences. Yet, there is a gap in research about interventions tailored to this life stage. To address this gap, we conducted virtual semistructured interviews through Zoom with 21 university students on the availability and the effectiveness of prevention and response initiatives on campus, existing barriers, and potential solutions. We found that university students were concerned about a lack of available initiatives, and they identified several barriers, including a lack of cyberbullying conversations occurring on campus, limited knowledge about the impacts of cyberbullying on university students, and stigmatization associated with cybervictimization, which made it difficult for students to openly talk about their experiences. To remedy these barriers, university students offered several solutions: increasing education for postsecondary students, faculty, staff, and support teams; conducting studies examining cyberbullying from the unique life stage perspective of young adulthood and employing an ecological point of view; and finally, creating age-appropriate cyberbullying resources, such as flyers, webpages, and anonymous reporting systems. A central theme across these solutions was the need for conversations around cyberbullying experiences at the postsecondary level, as students perceived that it was treated as a taboo topic.