Cyberbullying: a systematic literature review to identify the factors impelling university students towards cyberbullying

Farhan Bashir Shaikh, Mobashar Rehman, Aamir Amin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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With the increased access to the internet, technology and social media, the problem of cyberbullying has been on the rise. Since the higher education necessitates access to information technology, university students are found comparatively more exposed and involved in the incidences of cyberbullying. Prior research has heavily focused on school students and has mostly ignored university students. Therefore, this study aims to conduct a systematic review of literature targeting university students specifically to understand the underlying causes that give rise to the problem of cyberbullying within the university environment so that the issue could be adequately addressed. In this attempt, this study observed 32 studies out of a total of 7,939 reviews searched for the purpose. This study reviews a multitude of factors such as the role of an individual's personal, socio-cognitive, psychological and environmental factors towards cyberbullying and provides a 360-degree view of the factors contributing to cyberbullying behaviour instead of the traditional approach of focusing on one or two factors. This study will not only enrich the understanding of potential cyberbullying factors that drive university students towards notorious cyberbullying behaviour but also provides valuable insights to researchers, policy-makers, educators, universities, governments and parents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9163353
Pages (from-to)148031-148051
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2020


  • cyberbullying
  • electronic bullying
  • environmental factors
  • higher institutes of learning
  • Internet bullying
  • personal factors
  • psychological factors
  • socio-cognitive factors
  • students


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