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Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Aggression and Violent Behavior

Systematic review of theoretical studies on bullying and cyberbullying:

Facts, knowledge, prevention, and intervention
Izabela Zych a,, Rosario Ortega-Ruiz a,1, Rosario Del Rey b,2
Universidad de Crdoba , 14004 Crdoba, Spain
Universidad de Sevilla , 41004 Sevilla, Spain

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Bullying and cyberbullying are present all over the world and have serious consequences for individuals and so-
Received 15 September 2015 cieties. The number of research studies on the topic has increased exponentially throughout the history, but
Received in revised form 30 September 2015 many questions related to the phenomena remain unanswered. The current study is a systematic review of
Accepted 1 October 2015
systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the topic. Systematic searches were conducted in 7 databases and
Available online 21 October 2015
Aggressive and Violent Behavior journal. A total number of 66 studies met the inclusion criteria. The main ndings
are that one of every three children is involved in some forms of bullying and one of every ve in some forms of
Bullying cyberbullying. Boys are more involved than girls but with small or trivial effect sizes, and relationship with age is
Cyberbullying also weak. There is strong overlap between bullying and cyberbullying and bullying is an important problem
Meta-analyses among minorities. Results show risk and protective factors for bullying and cyberbullying, together with short-
Systematic reviews and long-term devastating consequences. Anti-bullying interventions are usually effective in reducing bullying,
although the effect sizes are small and depend on the components of the programs. Bullying and cyberbullying
evaluation strategies need to be improved. Findings are discussed introducing also the Special Issue on Bullying,
Cyberbullying and Youth Violence: Facts, Prevention and Intervention.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2. Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.1. Aims of the study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Search strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.3. Inclusion criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.4. Coding strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3. Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.1. Prevalence, sex, and age of the children involved in the phenomena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.1.1. Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.1.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.2. Relationship between bullying and cyberbullying: Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3. Minorities' involvement in bullying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3.1. Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.4. Risk and protective factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.4.1. Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.4.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.5. Consequences of bullying and cyberbullying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.5.1. Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.5.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Corresponding author at: Departamento de Psicologa, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educacin, Universidad de Crdoba. Avda. San Alberto Magno s/n, 14004 Crdoba Spain.
E-mail addresses: (I. Zych), (R. Ortega-Ruiz), (R. Del Rey).
Departamento de Psicologa, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educacin, Universidad de Crdoba. Avda. San Alberto Magno s/n, 14,004 Crdoba (Spain).
Departamento de Psicologa Evolutiva y de la Educacin, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educacin, C/Pirotecnia s/n, 41,013. Sevilla (Spain).
1359-1789/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
2 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

3.6. Effectiveness of anti-bullying programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

3.6.1. Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.6.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.7. Effectiveness of different program components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.7.1. Meta-analytic results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.7.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.8. Evaluation strategies and methodologies: Non-meta-analytic systematic reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4. Conclusions and introduction to the Special Issue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

1. Introduction others. Evaluation strategies and methodologies in the eld also vary
(Vivolo-Kantor, Martell, Holland, & Westby, 2014). Clarifying all these
School bullying is a repeated violence intentionally perpetrated by issues would be useful for further advancement of studies on bullying
some students on other physically or psychologically weaker peers and cyberbullying.
(Smith & Brain, 2000) under a so-called dominancesubmission scheme A valuable solution to this situation can be found in synthesizing em-
and law of silence (Ortega, 2010). This kind of abuse is present in pirical knowledge through literature reviews (Cooper, 2009). Although
schools all over the world (Craig et al., 2009). Consequences of being in- classical literature narrative reviews provide valuable knowledge of dif-
volved in bullying as victims, perpetrators, or both are very serious and ferent topics, systematic reviews and meta-analyses give more objective
affect individuals and societies (Farrington, Losel, Tto, & Theodorakis, and, therefore, less biased information (Johnson & Eagly, 2000). These
2012). Interventions are being conducted all over the world (Tto & kinds of studies are very useful in gathering the information on inter-
Farrington, 2011), but the problem still persists and is now present vention programs and also on naturally occurring predictors and out-
not only in schools but also in cyberspace being called cyberbullying comes of different phenomena (Murray, Farrington, & Eisner, 2009).
(e.g. Kowalski, Giumetti, Schroeder, & Lattanner, 2014). The latter has To our knowledge, ndings of these theoretical studies in the eld
been dened as usually repeated aggressive and hostile messages inten- have not yet been systematically reviewed although Tto, Eisner, and
tionally sent though electronic media (Tokunaga, 2010). Bradshaw (2014) described and analyzed systematic reviews and
Rapid development of information and communication technol- meta-analyses of anti-bullying programs and Jimnez Barbero, Ruiz
ogies, together with other factors, has led to an exponential increase Hernndez, Llor Esteban, and Prez Garca (2012) analyzed ve meta-
in the number of studies available to the scientic community analyses on school bullying and violence prevention. Farrington, Losel
(Bornmann & Mutz, in press). Bibliographical sources needed for and Tto (in press) conducted a systematic review on community-
the constructions of theoretical frameworks and design of new re- based programs to prevent antisocial behavior. This article, on the
search can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere in the world. other hand, reports a systematic review of systematic reviews and
Sophisticated software makes possible introduction of thousands meta-analyses on bullying and cyberbullying. It has been conducted to
of data points in few hours and skilled researchers are able to per- ll the gaps in knowledge on the topic providing a global panorama
form complex analyses in less than a week. Pressure on publishing based on research syntheses.
in most of the research institutions is high (Teelken & Lomas, 2009)
and updated reports of new ndings on different topics are released 2. Method
every day. Research on bullying and cyberbullying is no exception as
can be seen on the example of a Web of Science search with 44 results 2.1. Aims of the study
in 1995, 165 results in 2005, or 689 results in 2014 with a total number
of about 11,000 articles. Even though thousands of studies on bullying The aim of the study was to conduct a systematic review of system-
and cyberbullying have been published throughout the history of the atic reviews and meta-analyses of research about bullying and
eld, this kind of violence still persists. Moreover, there are still impor- cyberbullying. Specically, this study pursued
tant gaps in knowledge on the phenomena.
- to review the topics and the main ndings of the review studies
Although bullying is present all over the world, there are big differ-
about bullying and cyberbullying;
ences in its prevalence ranging from 8.6% to 45.2% in boys, and from
- to synthetize knowledge derived from theoretical studies about bul-
4.8% to 35.8% in girls, with higher perpetration rates among boys and
lying and cyberbullying taking into account prevalence, age, and sex
more victimization among girls in 70% of the countries and showing de-
differences, possible overlap between the two phenomena, involve-
crease with age in about two thirds of the countries (Craig et al., 2009).
ment of minorities, risk, and protective factors, consequences, effec-
For cyberbullying, rates as high as 72% (Juvoven & Gross, 2008) and as
tiveness of anti-bullying programs and evaluation strategies;
low as 6.5% (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004) have been reported. Moreover,
- to synthetize and analyze effect sizes of the reviewed meta-analyses.
it is unclear whether cyberbullying is just a form of bullying (Olweus,
2013) or should be considered a new and different phenomenon con-
sidering its specic features (Slonje, Smith, & Frisen, 2013). Involvement 2.2. Search strategies
of minorities is also unclear, with some studies reporting more involved
in bullying than the majority groups (e.g. Fandrem, Strohmeier, & Search was conducted between June and August 2015 in the follow-
Roland, 2009; Rodrguez-Hidalgo, Ortega-Ruiz, & Zych, 2014) and ing databases: Google Scholar, Sciencedirect, Web of Science, Medline
others nding no difference between the two (e.g. Seals & Young, (through Web of Knowledge), PsychInfo, Campbell Library, Cochrane Li-
2003). Risk and protective factors, together with outcomes, are broadly brary, and Wiley Online Library. Aggression and Violent Behavior was
studied (e.g. Cook, Williams, Guerra, Kim, & Sadek, 2010; Hawker & also searched given the high number of review articles on the topic pub-
Boulton, 2000; Kowalski et al., 2014), but it still needs to be conrmed lished in the journal. Also, the references of the articles included in the
which have the biggest impact on students involved in bullying and current study were searched for possible additional documents.
cyberbullying. Finally, anti-bullying programs are being implemented Keywords and search strategies depended on the search engines of
all over the world (Farrington & Tto, 2009), but not all of them are each database and were chosen with the objective of locating maximum
effective and some components seem to produce better results than numbers of studies. Thus, searches needed to be wide enough to locate
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 3

all the potentially includable papers and, at the same time, restrictive doctoral degree dissertations, other technical reports, and similar
enough to locate only relevant documents. For that reason, searches documents. The authors of the current review are aware of the
were restricted to titles in databases where all-eld searches would pro- fact that some very high-quality reports have been excluded (e.g.
duce hundreds of thousands of records (i.e. Google Scholar). In engines Farrington et al., 2012; Tto, Farrington, & Baldry, 2008), but most
where searches in titles could be combined with all elds or topics (i.e. of the ndings were also published in peer-reviewed journals and,
Sciencedirect, Web of Knowledge, Wiley Online Library) keywords were therefore, included in the current review.
entered assuming that bullying or cyberbullying would appear in titles
and the type of the study (systematic review or meta-analysis) in
other parts of the document or vice versa. On the other hand, in search 2.4. Coding strategies
engines that produce numbers of relevant records possible to scan and
analyze (i.e. PsychInfo), less restricted searches were conducted in Included studies were analyzed and coded reporting databases
some cases including even all the articles on bullying and cyberbullying where searches were conducted, numbers of articles included in each
(i.e. Aggression and Violent Behavior, Campbell and Cochrane libraries). review, the main topics and the main ndings. For meta-analyses, over-
No time restrictions were introduced and, whenever possible, searches all effect sizes for the most important variables were included. Finally,
were restricted to journal articles. results were described synthesizing the ndings of all the included arti-
In Google Scholar, keywords such as bullying, bully, cles grouping the common topics.
cyberbullying combined with review, meta-analysis, and meta- The Results section shows overall effect sizes reported in each meta-
analytic were searched in titles (allintitle: function) yielding a total analysis together with its interpretation based on Cohen (1988), Cooper
number of 452 results. Bullying/cyberbullying and review/ (2009), and Lipsey and Wilson (2001) recommendations. Effect sizes
meta-analysis/meta-analytic were introduced interchangeably in were considered small for r = .10.24, OR = 1.502.49, d or g =
titles and in all elds (e.g. bullying" in title and meta-analysis in all .20.49; medium for r = .25.39, OR = 2.504.49 d or g = .50.79
elds and then meta-analysis in title and bullying in all elds), in and large r N .40 or OR N 4.30, d or g = N .80. These metrics are provided
Sciencedirect (341 records), Web of Knowledge including all the as in the original studies with condence intervals if available. Modera-
databases (158 records) and Wiley Online Library (255 records). In tion effects were described for each study, but metrics were not provid-
PsychInfo, bullying and cyberbullying were combined with sys- ed due to the space limitations.
tematic review/meta-analysis/meta-analytic in journal articlesall First, results from meta-analyses are presented giving the strongest
elds with a total number of 109 records. Bullying and cyberbullying evidence of their results. Then, in each section, complementary informa-
were introduced in all elds in Aggression and Violent Behavior (172 re- tion is added from systematic reviews which did not include a meta-
cords), Campbell library (23 records), and Cochrane library (35 records). analysis. Overall metrics, frequencies, or description are provided
Thus, a total number of 1545 records were scanned (including repeti- when available.
tions). In all the cases, titles were scanned and if potentially includable,
abstracts and full texts were analyzed. Among all these studies, 66 studies 3. Results
met the inclusion criteria.
A total number of 66 systematic reviews and meta-analyses were
2.3. Inclusion criteria included in the current study. Results are presented rst taking into
account meta-analytic research and then adding information from
- Articles which review empirical research focusing specically on non-meta-analytic systematic reviews.
peer victimization, bullying or cyberbullying were included, exclud- Table 1 shows the meta-analyses and Table 2 shows non-meta-
ing studies that would focus on school violence (unspecic) and re- analytic systematic reviews included in the current study. Tables focus
views on bullying or cyberbullying mixed with other phenomena on the sources from which the primary studies were extracted in each
(e.g. Jimnez Barbero et al., 2012, or Mishna, Cook, Saini, Wu, & systematic review and meta-analysis, the number of research papers in-
MacFadden, 2009, who reviewed studies on cyber-abuse in gen- cluded in each study, the main topics together with the main ndings
eral including only one research on cyberbullying). and conclusions. Synthesis of the most important ndings is included
- Only systematic reviews were included dened as reviews with below taking into account the main topics of each theoretical study.
systematic or semi-systematic search in databases and possible
other sources (e.g. references) performed with keywords includ- 3.1. Prevalence, sex, and age of the children involved in the phenomena
ing bullying or cyberbullying together with explicit inclusion and
exclusion criteria. The studies might or might not include effect 3.1.1. Meta-analytic results
size calculations (meta-analyses) and searches were always con- Prevalence of bullying and cyberbullying was reported by Modecki
ducted with the purpose of locating all the relevant studies on the et al. (2014) taking into account results from 80 studies. For bullying,
topic within established time periods. Articles were excluded mean prevalence rates for perpetration were of 35% (95% CI: .34.35)
when there was no description of inclusion/exclusion criteria and for victimization of 36% (95% CI: .36.36). For cyberbullying, mean
(e.g. Liu & Graves, 2011), or the description indicated clearly un- perpetration rate was of 16% (95% CI: .15.16) and mean victimization
specic criteria (e.g. the inclusion criterion is the presence of the rate was of 15% (95% CI: .15.15). Higher rates were found when a
keywords in titles or abstractsSalgado, Senra, & Loureno, 2014) clear denition was provided and terms fun or tease were included.
or search strategies. Lower rates were found when behavioral examples (except for tradi-
- Bullying and cyberbullying were perpetrated by children, adoles- tional perpetration when behavioral examples were related to higher
cents, or youth in school settings, excluding studies on bullying, for rates) or the term bully were included in the measure and in studies
example, at work. Reviews that included workplace and school bul- with imposed randomization.
lying in the same analyses were also excluded (e.g. Nielsen, Tangenc, A meta-analysis of 109 studies conducted by Barlett and Coyne
Idsoe, Matthiesen, & Magery, 2015). (2014) shows that cyberbullying perpetration was more common in
- Articles were written in English or Spanish. boys than in girls, but the overall effect size was trivial (r = .04, 95%
- In order to guarantee the quality, only peer-reviewed documents CI: .03.04). The authors report signicant moderating effect of age
such as journal articles and Campbell and Cochrane reports were showing that more girls were involved in cyberbullying perpetration
included, excluding meeting abstracts, proceeding (except those in younger samples and more boys were involved in older samples, al-
published in Procedia since it is peer-reviewed) master's degree or though no cut-off point could be calculated due to the continuous
4 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

Table 1
Meta-analyses on bullying and cyberbullying.

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

Barlett and Coyne PsycInfo, PubMed, ERIC, and Google Scholar 109 Sex differences in cyberbullying Boys perpetrated cyberbullying more than girls with
(2014) and references of a recent meta-analysis. perpetration and possible signicant but rather weak overall effect size (r = .04, 95%
moderators that would inuence CI: .034.042). Age moderated the effect sizemore girls
the effect. than boys were involved in cyberbullying in younger
samples and the opposite was true for older participants.
Countries and continents in which studies were conducted
also moderated effect sizes nding that boys cyberbullied
more in some countries or continents (e.g. the USA,
Germany, or Turkey) or no sex difference (e.g. in Canada
or Australia).
Cook et al. (2010) PsychInfo, ERIC, and Medline, references and 153 Individual and contextual The most important individual predictors of involvement
previous review articles. predictors of bullying in perpetration were externalizing behavior (e.g.
perpetration and victimization. undercontrolled aggressive response) (r = .34, 95% CI:
.30.38) and other-related cognitions (e. g perspective
taking or normative beliefs about others) (r = .34, 95%
CI: .26 to .41); in victimization were social competence
(r = .30, 95% CI: .22 to .38) and internalizing
problems (e.g. withdrawn or depressive response)
(r = .25, 95% CI: .20.28) and in being a bully/victim
were self-related cognitions (e.g. self-respect or
self-esteem) (r = .40, 95% CI: .29 to .50) and
social competence (r = .36 95% CI: .28 to .45).
Among the contextual predictors, the most important
for perpetration were peer inuence (r = .34, 95%
CI: .26 to .42) and community factors (r = .22,
95%CI: .14 to .29); for victimization were peer
status (r = .35, 95% CI: .28 to .41) and school
climate (r = .16, 95% CI: .10 to .21) and for
bully/victims were peer status (r = .36, 95%
CI: .23 to .49) and peer inuence (r = .44, no CI
Cunningham, Hoy, PsychINFO, Web of Science, and PubMed 10 Bullying as a cause of psychotic Children who experience bullying are more likely to show
and Shannon symptoms analyzing research psychotic symptoms later in life than their uninvolved
(2015) with prospective designs focusing peers (OR = 2.15, 95% CI: 1.144.04).
on the most severe and enduring
Farrington & Tto, Australian Criminology Database (CINCH), 89 Effectiveness of programs to Overall, programs are effective in reducing bullying
2009;Tto and Australian Education Index, British Educa- reduce bullying including 53 perpetration (OR = 1.36, 95% CI: 1.261.47) and
Farrington (2011)1 tion Index, Cochrane Controlled Trials evaluations (published in 89 victimization (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.181.42) with small
Register, C2-SPECTR, Criminal Justice reports) taking into account but substantial effect sizes. The most important elements
Abstracts, Database of Abstracts of Reviews research designs and other related to decrease in bullying were parent and teacher
of Effectiveness (DARE), Dissertation characteristics of the evaluation trainings, supervision in the playground, disciplinary
Abstracts, Educational Resources Informa- (sample size, publication dates, methods, classroom management and rules,
tion Clearinghouse (ERIC), EMBASE, Google participants age, location and whole-school universal policy against bullying,
Scholar, Index to Theses Database, MEDLINE, outcome measures), the most conferences in school, cooperative group work and
National Criminal Justice, Reference Service important elements of the providing information to parents. Decrease in bullying
(NCJRS), PsychInfo/Psychlit, Sociological programs. was also related to the number of elements, duration and
Abstracts, Social Sciences Citation Index intensity of the programs. Results were better with older
(SSCI), Web of Knowledge; names of the children. Work with peers was related to increased
recognized researchers, 35 journals and victimization.
meetings with colleagues
Fedewa and Ahn PsychLit, PsycINFO, Dissertation Abstracts, 18 Frequency and the effect of Verbal and sexually charged victimization was more
(2011) MEDLINE, ERIC, Google Scholar, and victimization on sexual-minority frequent in GLB group when compared to the majority
literature reviews. group compared to the majority group (OR = 2.24, 95% CI: 1.633.08). The same was true
group paying attention to for physical and sexual victimization (OR = 1.82, 95% CI:
psychological, physical, and social 1.292.58). Psychological outcomes such as suicide
outcomes. ideation or attempt, sexual and physical abuse,
substance use and mental health issues; social outcomes
such as perception of hostile school climate and lack of
social support were more common in GLB compared to
the heterosexual youth. Physical outcomes were the
same for GLB and heterosexual participants.
Ferguson, Miguel, PsycINFO and the references of the selected 45 Effectiveness of anti-bullying Programs produce positive results (adjusted r = .12, 95%
Kilburn, and articles programs considering also CI: .08.17) but the size of the effect is small with 1%
Sanchez (2007) moderator analyses. impact for low-risk participants and 3.6% for high-risk
participants. At-risk status moderates the effect.
Gini and Pozzoli PsycINFO, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, the 30 Relationship between Longitudinal studies show that psychosomatic problems
(2009)2 Campbell Collaboration, and Scopus together victimization and psychosomatic are more common among victimized students compared
with cited by function in Scopus, review problems considering to non-victimized peers (OR = 2.39, 95% CI: 1.763.24).
articles and references cross-sectional and longitudinal Cross-sectional studies show similar pattern (OR = 2.17,
research. 95% CI: 1.912.46), although effect size decreased for
studies with more females.
Gini, Pozzoli, and PsychInfo, Educational Research Information 15 Relationship between bullying Bullying (r = .25; 95% CI: .17.32) and cyberbullying
Hymel, (2014)3 Center, Scopus, Google Scholar, review and cyberbullying perpetration (r = .31; 95% CI: .27.36) perpetration are related to
articles, references and direct contact with with moral disengagement. moral disengagement.
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 5

Table 1 (continued)

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

the authors.
Gini, Pozzoli, Lenzi, PsycINFO, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, the 20 Relationship between being Being bullied is related to headache in longitudinal (OR =
and Vieno, (2014) Campbell Collaboration, and Scopus together bullied and headache considering 2.10, 95% CI: 1.193.71) and cross-sectional (OR = 2.00,
with cited by function in Scopus, review cross-sectional and longitudinal 95% CI: 1.702.35) research. For the latter, the magnitude
articles, Headache journal and references of studies. of the effect size decreased for studies with more females.
the located articles
Hawker and Boulton PsycLit, BIDS ISI Social Sciences Citation 23 Relationship between peer Victimization was signicantly related to depression
(2000) Index, OCLC Firstsearch, reviews, reference victimization and psychosocial (r = .45 with shared method variance and r = .29 with no
lists, hand search of relevant journals and maladjustment focusing on shared method variance), loneliness (r = .32 with shared
communication with relevant authors. depression, loneliness, method variance and r = .25 with no shared method
generalized and social anxiety and variance), generalized and social anxiety (r = .25 with
general and social esteem. shared method variance and r = .19 with no shared
method variance), general self-esteem (r = .39 with
shared method variance and r = .21 with no shared
method variance) and social-esteem (r = .35 with shared
method variance and r = .23 with no shared method
variance). No condence intervals were reported.
Holt et al. (2015) PubMed, PsychInfo, Education Resources 47 Relationship between Signicant relations were found between victimization
Information Center, Cumulative Index to involvement in bullying as and suicidal ideation (OR = 2.34; 95% CI: 2.032.69) and
Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and perpetrators, victims or behavior (OR = 2.94; 95% CI: 2.363.67), perpetration and
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, other bully/victims and suicidal ideation (OR = 2.12; 95% CI: 1.672.69) and behavior (OR
systematic reviews and references. behavior and ideation. = 2.62; 95% CI: 1.514.55) and also being a bully/victim
and ideation (OR = 3.81; 95% CI: 2.136.80) or behavior
(OR = 4.02; 95% CI: 2.396.76).
Kowalski et al. (2014) Academic Search Complete, Business Source 131 Critical review of research on Besides cybervictimization (r = .51, 95% CI: .48.55) and
Complete, Communication & Mass Media cyberbullying together with a traditional bullying (r = .45, 95% CI: .41.48), the most
Complete, Criminal Justice Abstracts, meta-analysis of relationships important risk factors for cyberbullying perpetration were
Education Research Complete, Family with face-to-face bullying and normative beliefs about aggression (r = .37, 95% CI:
Studies Abstracts, HealthSource: different psychological and .24.48) and moral disengagement (r = .27, 95% CI:
Nursing/Academic Edition, Human behavioral variables considered as .20.34). School safety (r = .13, 95% CI: .16 to .10),
Resources Abstracts, MEDLINE, risk and protective factors or empathy (r = .12, 95% CI: .14 to .09) and school
PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, SocINDEX, Social outcomes for perpetration and climate
Sciences Full Text, ProQuest Dissertations victimization. (r = .12, 95% CI: .14 to .10) were the most important
and Theses Full-text, and Web of Science, protective factors. Drug and alcohol use was the most
reference lists of existing reviews, 16 important outcome (r = .27, 95% CI: .22.31). For
specialized journals and contact with active cybervictimization, besides traditional victimization
researchers in the eld. (r = .40, 95% CI: .37.42) and bullying (r = .25, 95% CI:
.23.28), anger (r = .20, 95% CI: .16.23) and risky online
behavior (r = .18, 95% CI: .14.21) were the most
important risk factors, school safety the most important
protective factor (r = .22, 95% CI: .24 to .19) and
(r = .34, 95% CI: .29.38) and suicidal ideation (r = .27,
95% CI: .24.31) were the most important outcomes.
Lee, Kim, and Kim Medline, PsycInfo, PubMed, the Education 13 Effectiveness of anti-bullying Anti-bullying programs had signicant but rather small
(2015) Resource Information Center, and the interventions focusing on effect on victimization (d = .15, 95% CI: .20.10).
Cochrane Database victimization as a primary Considering different program strategies, moderate
outcome measure. overall effect size was achieved for training in emotional
control (d = .46). The rest of the effect sizes were rather
Lereya, Samara, and Medline, PsychINFO, Eric and EMBASE. 70 Relationship between parenting Victimization was related to less positive parenting
Wolke (2013) styles and parentchild (g = .19; 95% CI: .23 to .15) being less likely to live
relationships with being a victim with authoritative parents, with less communication,
or a bully/victim of traditional and supervision, warmth and affection or parental support.
cyberbullying. Victimization was also related to more negative parenting
(g = .26; 95% CI: .16.37) with more abuse and neglect,
maladaptive parenting and overprotection.
Merrell, Gueldner, PsycINFO, Educational Resources 16 Effectiveness of anti-bullying Focusing on variables specically regarding involvement
Ross, and Isava Information Center (ERIC) and references programs taking into account in bullying reported through self-reports, small but
(2008) different outcome variables meaningful changes were found in positive attitudes
related to bullying. toward bullying (d = .15) victimization (d = .27),
witnessing bullying (d = .35) and intervention to stop it
(d = .17). Teacher reports showed small effects on
witnessed students being bullied (d = .16), staff
response (d = .30) and attitudes about school safety
(d = .16) and large effects for knowledge on bullying
prevention (d = 1.52) and intervention skills (d = .99).
Peer-reports showed small effect on participation in bullying
roles (d = .32). No meaningful effect sizes (below .15) were
found in the rest of the outcomes. No condence intervals
were reported. The authors conclude that the impact of the
programs on actual bullying behavior is low.
Mitsopoulou and PsycInfo, ERIC,Web of Science, Google 19 Relationship between personality The strongest relationships were found between bullying
Giovazolias (2015) Scholar and references of published review variables and empathy with perpetration and, agreeableness (r = .24, 95% CI: .31
studies. involvement in bullying behavior. to .17), conscientiousness (r = .15, 95% CI: .23 to

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6 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

Table 1 (continued)

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

.07), and affective empathy (r = .16, 95% CI:

.19.12). For victimization, the strongest relationships
were found with neuroticism (r = .24, 95% CI: .18.29).
Modecki, Minchin, PSYCInfo, PubMed, Educational Resources 80 Prevalence of bullying and Weighted mean prevalence rates for traditional
Harbaugh, Guerra, Information Centre, Proquest Dissertations cyberbullying perpetration and perpetration was of 35% (95% CI: .34.35), traditional
and Runions (2014) and Theses, Scopus, Google Scholar and victimization in different contexts victimization was of 36% (95% CI: .36.36),
references. taking into account also cyber-perpetration was of 16% (95% CI: .15.16) and
moderating variables. Correlation cybervictimization was of 15% (95% CI: .15.15). Higher
between bullying and prevalence rates are found when a clear denition of the
cyberbullying. phenomena is provided, behavioral examples are
related to lower rates (except for traditional
perpetration where they are higher). Including the
word bully is related to lower rates, including words
tease or fun relates to higher rates. Randomization
is related to lower rates. Medium to strong correlations
were found between cyberbullying and bullying
perpetration (r = .47, 95% CI: .47.47) and
victimization (r = .40, 95% CI: .40.41)
Nakamoto and PsycINFO, PsychARTICLES, Educational 33 Relationship between peer There is a weak but signicant negative relationship
Schwartz (2009) Resource Information Center, Google Scholar victimization and academic between peer victimization and academic achievement
and references. achievement. (r = .12; 95% CI: .15 to .09). There is no difference
between boys and girls and this relationship is mediated
by methodologies of the studies (e.g. informants or
Polanin et al. (2012) Dissertation Abstracts International, 12 Effectiveness of anti-bullying Programs had positive small effect on bystander
Education Resources Information Center programs in relation to bystander intervention (g = .20, 95% CI: .11.29), greater in high
(ERIC), PsycINFO, Medline, Science Direct intervention behavior. school compared to primary schools, greater when
and references. facilitators were other than the teachers (researchers,
counselors or software). The programs had very small
effects on empathy (g = .05, 95% CI: .07.17).
Reijntjes, Kamphuisb, PsycLIT, PsycInfo, Web of Science, PubMed, 18 Internalizing problems in children Victimization signicantly predicts internalizing problems
Prinziea, and Telch references and cited by option. predicted by peer victimization over time (r = .18, 95% CI = .12.24) and, on the other
(2010) based on longitudinal prospective hand, internalizing problems signicantly predict
studies. victimization over time (r = .08, 95% CI .01.16), although
the effect size was very small for the latter.
Reijntjes et al. (2011) PsycLIT, PsycInfo, Web of Science, PubMed, 14 Externalizing problems in Victimization signicantly predicts externalizing problems
dissertation abstracts, references and cited children predicted by peer over time (r = .14, 95% CI: .09.19) and, on the other
by option. victimization based on hand, externalizing problems signicantly predict
longitudinal prospective studies. victimization over time (r = .13, 95% CI: .04.21).
Tippett and Wolke Web of Knowledge, Scopus, PubMed, 28 Relationship between Victimization was positively related to low
(2014) PsycINFO, EMBASE and hand search of involvement in bullying as socioeconomic status (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.361.71)
selected journals. perpetrators, victims or and negatively related to high socioeconomic status
bully/victims and socioeconomic (OR = .73, 95% CI: .63.86). Similar results were found
status. for perpetration and socioeconomic status (lowOR =1.14,
95% CI: 1.021.27 and highOR = .89, 95% CI: .83.95).
Being a bully-victim was only positively related to low
socioeconomic status (OR = 1.71, 95% CI: 1.222.39). Some
of these associations become much weaker when adjusted
for publication bias.
Tto, Farrington, and Australian Criminology Database (CINCH), 28 Perpetration and victimization as Perpetration was an important predictor of violence later
Lsel (2012) Australian Education Index, British Education predictors of violence later in life in life (adjusted OR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.692.45). The effect
Index, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, reviewing longitudinal size was negatively related to the age of perpetration
C2-SPECTR, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Data- prospective studies on the topic. assessment, the age of outcome assessment and the length
base of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness of follow-ups (the effects of perpetration seem to decrease
(DARE), Dissertation Abstracts, Educational with time but early exposure predicts higher risk).
Resources Information Clearinghouse (ERIC), Victimization was also a predictor of later violence,
Ethos-Beta,EMBASE, Google Scholar, Index to although with smaller effect size (adjusted OR = 1.42;
Theses Database, MEDLINE, National Criminal 95% CI: 1.251.62) and no moderators were signicant.
Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), PsychInfo/
Psychlit, Sociological Abstracts, Social
Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Web of
Knowledge; names of the recognized
researchers, 63 journals and contacts with
Tto, Farrington, See Tto et al. (2012) 18 Bullying perpetration and Bullying perpetrators are at higher risk for drug use
Lsel, and Loeber victimization as predictors of drug (OR = 2.22, 95% CI: 1.603.07) although much
(2011a) use later in life reviewing variation is explained by other factors such as
prospective longitudinal studies. childhood individual, family and school risk (adjusted
OR = 1.41, 95% CI 1.201.66). Victimization did not
predict drug use later in life (adjusted OR = 1.02; 95%
CI: .941.11).
Tto et al. (2011a) See Tto et al. (2012) 28 Bullying victimization as a Victimization is a predictor of depression later in life
predictor of depression later in life (adjusted OR = 1.99; 95% CI: 1.712.32). This effect
reviewing longitudinal studies on size was negatively related to the age of victimization
the topic. assessment and negatively related to the length of the
follow-ups and the age at outcome measures (the effects of
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 7

Table 1 (continued)

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

victimization seem to decrease with time but early

exposure predicts higher risk). The effect size was still
strong after controlling for other risk factors.
Tto, Farrington, See Tto et al. (2012) 28 Bullying perpetration as a Bullying perpetration predicts offending later in life
Lsel, and Loeber predictor of offending later in life (adjusted OR = 2.50; 95% CI: 2.033.08. This effect
(2011b) reviewing longitudinal studies on size was positively related to the age of bullying
the topic. evaluation and negatively related to the length of the
follow-ups and the outcome measures (stronger effect
of perpetration in the short term). The effect size was
still strong after controlling for other risk factors.
van Dam et al. (2012) PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE and references 14 Relationship between Victimization is related to the development of psychotic
victimization and psychotic symptoms in general population (adjusted OR = 2.3 95%
symptoms in clinical and general CI: 1.53.4). This relationship seems to be stronger with
population. increased duration, frequency and severity. Results of
clinical samples are mixed and data not appropriate for a
van Geel, Vedder, & Psychinfo, ERIC, MEDLINE and references 16 Relationship between overweight Peer- victimization is more common among youth with
Tanilon (2014a) and obesity with peer overweight (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.101.29)and obesity
victimization (OR = 1.51; 95% CI: 1.341.72) problems in comparison to
their normal-weight peers.
van Geel, Vedder & PsycINFO, ERIC, MEDLINE, LILACS, EMBASE, 25 Relationship between Victimization is related to weapon carrying (adjusted
Tanilon (2014b) Dissertation Abstracts International, other involvement in bullying as OR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.602.36) with no signicant
reviews and references. perpetrators, victims or moderators. Perpetration is also related to weapon
bully/victims and weapon carrying (adjusted OR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.902.77) with
carrying. stronger effect size in studies with higher response
rate (above 75%) and no other signicant moderators.
No differences were found between the U.S. studies
and research from other countries for victims and
perpetrators. Very strong relations were found
between being a bully/victim and weapon carrying
(OR = 4.95; 95% CI: 3.776.50) stronger for the
studies conducted in the U.S. in comparison to other
van Geel, Vedder, & PsycINFO,Web of Science, OvidMEDLINE, 36 Relationship between peer Peer victimization was related to suicidal ideation
Tanilon (2014c) review articles and references. victimization (from cyberbullying (adjusted OR = 2.18, 95% CI: 2.052.32) with stronger
and bullying) and suicidal effect for cyberbullying (OR =3.12, 95% CI: 2.404.05)
ideation or attempts. than for traditional bullying (OR = 2.16, 95% CI:
2.052.28) with no other signicant moderators. Peer
victimization was also related to suicidal attempts
(OR = 2.55; 95% CI: 1.953.34) with no signicant
moderators and no separate analysis for traditional
vs. cyberbullying due to the low number of studies.
van Geel, Goemans, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, ERIC, Embase, LILACS, 21 Relationship between peer Sleeping problems are more common among peer
and Vedder recent review studies and references. victimization and sleeping victimized children if compared to non-victimized peers
(in press) problems. (OR = 2.21; 95% CI: 2.012.44). This relationship is
stronger in younger children.
Vitoroulis and PsycInfo, ERIC, ProQuest Dissertations & 105 Ethnic group differences in peer There was no difference in peer victimization suffered by
Vaillancourt (2015) Theses, PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, victimization considering majority and minority groups taking into account all the
conferences (i.e., Society of Research on majorityminority comparison studies (d = .01, 95% CI: .09 to.10) and majority suffered
Adolescence, International Society for Re- and also comparisons between more victimization in the US in comparison to the
search on Aggression, Society for Research in specic groups. minorities (d = .23; 95% CI: .22.44) and minorities
Child Development), references and govern- suffered more victimization if compared to the majority in
ment reports. the UK (d = .16; 95% CI: .02.35). Very small overall effect
sizes (d b .1) were found in comparison between specic
groups although some of them were stronger for some age
groups or measures.
Yeager, Fong, Lee, and PsycINFO, ERIC, Proquest Dissertations and 19 Effectiveness of anti-bullying Anti-bullying programs in older adolescents are less
Espelage (in press) Theses, Google Scholar, Social Science programs in older adolescents effective than in younger participants (correlation
Citation Index, EBSCO, ASSIA, PubMed, considering developmental between effect size and age: simpler = .20 and
Sociological Abstracts, GALE, Academic changes and reviewing studies within-studyr = .43). A three-level meta-analysis
Search Complete, MedLine, Campbell that administered programs to with within-study analysis shows that there is a
Collaboration, Cochrane Collaboration, different age groups and non-linear discontinuity in relation to age. The effect
previous review studies, communication measured level of the in grades 17 was small (d = .13, no CI reported) and
with experts and authors. phenomenon and performing a in grades 8 + the programs were ineffective (d = .01,
hierarchical meta-analysis. no CI reported) with a signicant decline in grades
7th to 12th (b = .06, Z = 2.40, p = .016). Thus,
programs effectiveness show slight increase between
1st and 7th grade and then decline from 7th to 12th
grade so that after the 10th grade the effects might
possibly even become iatrogenic (not signicant on
average but signicant in some studies).
Since the report is an extended version of the study, information was extracted from both documents.2 Since the latest version Gini and Pozzoli (2013) includes all the studies from the
previous version Gini and Pozzoli (2009) and newer, information in the table is extracted from the former.3 Only articles on bullying and cyberbullying were included in our study.
Database list was extracted from the report published by Farrington et al. (2012) cited in the method section of the article for details on searches. N = number of papers included in
the systematic review (not necessarily in the meta-analysis). Overall effect sizes and condence intervals for the main variables are reported in the table when available. When adjusted
and unadjusted effect sizes were reported, adjusted effect sizes are included in the table.
8 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

Table 2
Non-meta-analytic systematic reviews included in the study.

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

Albdour and Krouse CINAHL, Pubmed, and Psyc-INFO 23 Bullying and victimization among Prevalence of bullying and victimization in
(2014) African American adolescents focusing African American adolescents is higher in com-
on its prevalence, risk and protective parison to other students. Risk and protective fac-
factors and its relationship with psy- tors are mainly related to other kinds of violence,
chological health. family structure, substance use, self-efcacy and
beliefs on aggression. Involvement in bullying is
related to health issues such as depression and
physical health.
Antoniadou and Cambridge Journals, Greek National Archive of PhD 15 Research on cyberbullying in Greece Cyberbullying is an existing phenomenon in
Kokkinos (2015) Theses, HEAL-Link Library, ERIC, Informaworld, taking into account the organisms in- Greece, although research on the topic is still in its
Ingenta Connect, Oxford ProQuest Research Library, volved in safe use of the new early stage of development. Most of the studies
Reference Online, PsycInfo, Sage, Scirus, Science technology, published research and are descriptive, not specically focused on the
Direct, Scopus, Wiley Online Library, Wilson scientic meeting presentations. phenomenon and/or have small samples. Most of
Education and Wilson Social Sciences and a a the data were collected by European and national
general Internet search institutions and not all the research has been
published in scientic journals. More studies are
Baldry and Farrington Review studies, PsychInfo, major journals in the 16 Effectiveness of programs to prevent About half of the programs produce desirable
(2007) eld and contacting leading researchers bullying including description of core results. Information on the effectiveness of
elements and effect sizes of main different components is rarely available and, in
anti-bullying programs in 11 different general, the authors recommend improving
countries. designs and methodology used to clarify the
effectiveness of the programs.
Berne et al. (2013) EbscoHost, ScienceDirect, OVID, InformaWorld and 61 Cyberbullying evaluation instruments The concept of cyberbullying is not used in about
contacting members of a European COST action considering its reliability, validity, half of the instruments and is operationalized
conceptual and denitional basis. differently throughout the instruments (e.g.
including or not components such as
intentionality, imbalance of power, repetition,
etc.). Devices and media also vary among studies.
Less than 30% of the studies performed factor
analyses. Almost all the instruments are
self-reports. Reliability and validity of the
instruments are not fully reported.
Bottino, Bottino, PubMed and Virtual Health Library (BVS) including 10 Prevalence of cyberbullying, its Prevalence rates and related variables differed
Regina, Correia, and Latin American and Caribbean Centre on Health relationship to other variables and among studies ranging from 6.5% to 72%.
Ribeiro (2015) Sciences Information (LILACS), Spanish Biblio- adolescent mental health. Involvement in cyberbullying was related to the
graphic Index of Health Sciences (SBIHS), MEDLINE, involvement in traditional bullying. Cyberbullying
The Cochrane Library and SciELO. was also related to emotional and psychosomatic
Cantone et al. (2015) PubMed/Medline, Ebsco and consulting experts in 17 Effectiveness of Randomized Control Whole-school interventions seem to be the most
the eld Trials conducted between 2000 and effective. In general, most of the programs are
2013 in schools against bullying and effective in the short term but their long-term
cyberbullying. Studies were analyzed effects are still unclear mostly because the
taking into account types of reported follow-up periods seem to be short.
interventionuniversal or focused on
specic students.
Chalamandaris and MEDLINE, PSYCINFO, ERIC, and previous reviews. 62 Research methodologies utilized in There is a great variability in research
Piette (2015) anti-bullying interventions considering methodologies utilized in anti-bullying
different variables related to interventions.
population and intervention
characteristics, design, outcomes and
measures, data collection and analyses.
Collier, van Beusekom, ERIC, PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, own 39 Peer victimization in adolescents Peer victimization related to sexual orientation
Bos, and Sandfort les and references. related to sexual orientation and and gender identity/expression is related to
(2013) gender identity/expression focusing on negative outcomes such as lower sense of
health outcomes. belonging to school, depressive symptoms and to
suicidality according to some studies (mixed
results in case of the latter) with some studies
reporting also alcohol and substance use.
Evans et al. (2014) Campbell Collaboration, Cochran Library, 32 Effectiveness of bullying prevention About half of the studies report signicant
Dissertation Abstracts, ERIC, Google Scholar, Index programs conducted between 2009 decrease in perpetration and almost 70% report
to Thesis Database, PsycInfo, PubMed, Social and 2013 focusing on perpetration and signicant decrease in victimization. There are
Sciences Citation Index, Social Services Abstracts, victimization. differences in a way that the involvement is
Sociological Abstracts, and Social Work Abstracts measured with studies utilizing multi-item and
and experts for the grey literature single-item instruments. It is recommended to
improve measurement.
Goodman, Medaris, ProQuest Education Journals and Academic Search 10 Effectiveness of anti-bullying In most of the cases (7 out of 8), intervention
Verity, and Hott Complete and the references of the selected articles interventions in elementary and programs are useful to decrease bullying
(2013) middle schools describing their main behaviors. Main components and ndings are
components and ndings. described separately for each program.
Hamm et al. (2015) Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, ERIC, 13 Bullying and cyberbullying in deaf and The number and the quality of the studies on the
Medline/PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Dissertations hearing impaired students, describing topic are low. It seems that prevalence of bullying
& Theses Database (Proquest), key journals, topics, the main characteristics of the in deaf and hard of hearing students is higher
internet search engines and references of the participants, age, methods and key than in the hearing children but more studies are
selected articles ndings. needed to conrm it.
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 9

Table 2 (continued)

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

Hamm et al. (2015) MEDLINE, CENTRAL, ERIC, PubMed, CINAHL, 34 Prevalence of cyberbullying and The median prevalence of cyber-victimization was of
Academic Search Complete, Alt HealthWatch, relationship between the phenomenon 23% and of perpetration of 15.2%. Common forms of
Health Source, Communication & Mass Media and other variables. cyberbullying were insults/name-calling, rumors or
Complete, Web of Knowledge, and ProQuest circulating pictures. Most of the studies show that it
Dissertation & Theses Database, key organizations, occurs in similar age groups and increases with age
journals, proceedings and references. being girls more victimized and with more
perpetrators among boys. Results on the relationship
with anxiety were inconsistent and the relationship
with depression seems to be more evident.
Harcourt, Jasperse, and PsycINFO, Education Resources Information Center, 13 Parents perspective on bullying Parents demand more information on the
Green (2014) ProQuest, A+ Education, and Academic Search focusing on their denition, blaming phenomenon. Their denitions are diverse with
Premier, reference lists and specic journals. the victim and perceiving it as a normal difculties with distinguishing bullying from other
behavior, the way of coping and behavior and normalizing it. The principal coping
responsibility for dealing with strategy is to help dealing with stress, some indirect
bullying, negative consequences, and specic strategies and involving the school.
disclosure, awareness and support. Parents often felt negative emotions related to
bullying and frequently were not fully aware of the
situation. They perceive that school response should
be improved.
Hong and Espelage MEDLINE, PSYCINFO (Psychological Abstracts), 20 Mixed method research on bullying Mixed methodology might provide new insights
(2012) Google Scholar, review of literature reviews and perpetration and victimization since some phenomena are difcult to describe
dissertations. utilizing qualitative and quantitative only with qualitative or quantitative studies.
methodologies. The review focuses on Findings might be complimentary strengthening
the new insights gained from this type the results validity. Divergent results might lead
of studies, complimentary and to re-conceptualizations.
divergent ndings between the two.
Hong, Lee, Lee, Lee, and RISS for Higher Education (Korean), Google Scholar, 43 Studies conducted on bullying in Korea Studies on bullying in Korea are related to
Garbarino (2014) Medline, ProQuest, PubMed, and PsycINFO on participants who reside in the microsystem components such as family, peers and
(English) country analyzing the ndings in terms school; mesosystem such as relationship between
of microsystem, mesosystem and school and families (still understudied) and
macrosystem. macrosystem concerning religion and policies.
Kim and Leventhal Web of Science, SCOPUS, EMBASE, PubMed, 37 Relationship between involvement in Most of the studies show increased suicidal ideation
(2008) Psychlnfo, and Ovid Medline bullying and suicide analyzing general in victims, perpetrators and bully/victims from
and special populations of adolescents. general population. Similar situation was found in
victims from special education, although
perpetrators from the group of juvenile offenders
showed decreased risk. Increased risk of attempts
were found in victims and bullies from general and
special populations.
Klomek, Sourander, PsycNet, Medline and references of relevant 31 Relationship between bullying and Most of the cross-sectional studies show
and Gould (2010) articles suicide in cross-sectional and increased risk of suicidal ideation and attempt in
longitudinal studies taking into bullies and victims. Most of the studies report
account ideation and attempt. stronger relation in females than males.
Longitudinal studies are scarce, but also suggest
increased risk for children involved in bullying
with some particular issues related to sex.
Machado Azeredo, Medline (through PubMed), PsycInfo, Web of 31 Contextual risk factors for bullying Contextual risk factors for bullying in school and
Madalena Rinaldi, Knowledge, and SciELO Library throughout observational studies. classroom seem to be related to inequalities in
Leite de Moraes, income, poverty, lack of anti-bullying norms,
Bertazzi Levy, and decient classroom management and teacher
Rossi Menezes support. Results related to school and classroom
(2015) size or location differed among studies. Inequalities
in income and violence in the city or country were
also related to bullying.
O'Brien (2009) British Education Index, Web of Science, Google, 5 Teachers employ broader denitions of bullying
Google scholar, key journals and professionals Denitions of bullying employed by in comparison to students. Denitions included
secondary students and teachers in the themes such as direct bullying, social exclusion,
UK. power imbalance, repetition, intending harm,
how bullying affects the victim, sexualized
bullying, focus on difference and coercion.
Patton, Hong, Patel, and Google Scholar, ProQuest, ERIC, and PsycInfo. 24 Qualitative studies on bullying Qualitative studies focus mostly on elaborating and
Kral (in press) considering the main focus of this kind explicating the experiences of children involved in
of studies. bullying in their own words. Naturalistic inquiries in
which researchers investigate themes when they
emerge are common.
Perren et al. (2012) Relevant databases (PsychInfo, Pubmed, ERIC, 36 Successful responses in tackling Peer intervention and parental supervision and
SOCindex, Web of Science, etc) and EU Kids Online cyberbullying such as reducing risks, behavior seem to be useful in preventing
II study combatting the problem and buffering cyberbullying. For combating the problem and
its effects by students, parents and buffering its effects, victims report confronting
teachers. the perpetrators, technical solutions such as
blocking are used together with seeking support
from friends and ignoring the problem. Students
are rather skeptical when seeking support from
parents or teachers. Most of the studies focus on
use of strategies and not on their success.

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10 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

Table 2 (continued)

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

Rose, Monda-Amaya, EBSCO and additional databases 32 Bullying perpetration and In inclusive settings, victimization rates of
and Espelage (2011) victimization in special education students with and without disabilities are usually
taking into account school similar but they seem to be higher for students
characteristics, type of disability and with disabilities in segregated settings. Teachers
personal attributes. and students perceptions of perpetration vary
among studies. Higher rates are observed in
students with more severe disabilities.
Victimization is related to character traits and
ability to interpret social cues.
Ryan and Smith (2009) Medline, PsycInfo, and ERIC 31 Evaluation practices utilized in Program evaluations are decient. Program
anti-bullying programs focusing on the monitoring related to verication of the
application of the assessment implementations (e.g. adherence, quality of
standards. delivery or dosage) was absent in more than one
third of the evaluations and the rest of the studies
used on average only 1 method. None of the
randomized controlled trials meet all the
assumptions to be classied as such. Inclusion of
qualitative methods is uncommon and the
post-tests/follow-ups are short. Most studies use
two or more evaluation methods but more than a
half use only one informant. Effect sizes are rarely
reported and hierarchical modeling is infrequent.
Shireen, Janapana, PubMed, PsychInfo, Medline and Google Scholar 28 Relationship between involvement in Involvement in bullying is related to suicidal
Rehmatullah, Temuri, bullying and suicidal ideation and ideation and attempt. The risk seems to be higher
and Azim (2014) attempt. in girls in comparison to boys.
Smith, Schneider, PsychInfo, ERIC and Dissertation Abstracts, 14 Effectiveness of anti-bullying programs The vast majority of effects are small, negligible
Smith, and contacting researchers and references. focusing on components such as and negative. Formal monitoring led to more
Ananiadou (2004) school, classroom, parents, peers and positive outcomes for victimization.
individuals, analyzing effects
separately for each study (no overall)
considering perpetration and
Sommer, Leuschner, PsychNET, PsychINFO, Pubmed, Scopus, Google 35 Relationship between involvement in Evidence of physical victimization in shooters was
and Scheithauer Scholar, ScienceDirect, contacting experts and bullying as perpetrators of victims and found in 29.9% of the cases and in 31.2% it was
(2014) reference. school shooting. explicitly excluded. Peer rejection was more
frequent (53.7%) and explicitly excluded in 14.9%.
In 13.4% of the cases, shooters were found to be
Tokunaga (2010) EbscoHost, Lexis Nexis, JSTOR, and World-Cat. In 25 Research on cyberbullying Victimization rates vary among studies and are
EbscoHost, Academic Search Premier, Business victimization taking into account its usually reported between 20% and 40%. It might
Source Premier, Computer Source, Communication prevalence, the role of age and gender, occur in all age groups and ndings on the
and Mass Media Premier, ERIC, Psychology and disturbances related to the relationship with age are inconsistent, although it
Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsychInfo were phenomenon and coping strategies. seems to be curvilinear with the highest
searched together with the references. prevalence between 7th and 8th grades. Studies
are also inconsistent in relation to gender with
the majority of studies showing no sex
differences. Negative consequences depend on
severity, frequency and duration with most of the
studies nding negative consequences on
academic performance and psychosocial
problems. Technical coping is common and
passive strategies or reporting to adults are
Topper & Conrod (in Psychinfo, Scopus, PubMed and references 7 Relationship between bullying Most of the studies (5 out of 7) found positive
press) victimization and alcohol misuse in relationship between victimization and alcohol
adolescents. misuse.
Tto, Bowes, Australian Criminology Database (CINCH), 8 Factors that interrupt the continuity Review of the studies suggest that resilience after
Farrington, and Lsel Australian Education Index, British Education from bullying to internalizing and being involved in bullying as perpetrators or
(2014) Index, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, C2- externalizing problems later in life victims is related to high school achievement and
-SPECTR, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Database of reviewing prospective longitudinal social skills. Also strong family attachment and
Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE), Dis- studies. stable structure, together with social support and
sertation Abstracts, Educational Resources Infor- prosocial friends protect from developing
mation Clearinghouse (ERIC), Ethos-Beta,EMBASE, problems later in life.
Google Scholar, Index to Theses Database,
MEDLINE, National Criminal Justice Reference Ser-
vice (NCJRS), PsychInfo/Psychlit, Sociological
Abstracts, Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI),
Web of Knowledge; names of the recognized
researchers, 63 journals and contacts with
van Noorden, PsychInfo, Web of Science, Scopus, references and 40 Relationship between involvement in Perpetration seems to be negatively related to
Haselager, Cillessen, existing reviews. bullying as perpetrators, victims, cognitive and affective empathy, victimization to
and Bukowski (2015) defenders and bystanders with cognitive empathy only. Defending seems to be
cognitive and affective empathy. positively related to both cognitive and affective
empathy whereas bystanding yields mixed
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 11

Table 2 (continued)

Study Databases and other sources N Main topics Main ndings and conclusions

Vessey, Strout, DiFazio, EBSCO search querying CINAHL, MEDLINE, ERIC and 31 Psychometric properties of self-report Among the included instruments, 26% present
and Walker (2014) PsychINFO. References, Google, Google Scholar and instruments to assess bullying test-retest reliability ndings, 90% reported
the Compendium of Assessment Tools on the US reviewing papers which primary internal consistency reliability measures (with
Department of Health and Human Services website. objective was to evaluate the few studies reporting Cronbach's alphas below
psychometric properties of the .70), 26% included item-total correlations.
instrument. Content validity related to the item development
procedure was reported in 48% of the studies,
although without describing detailed procedure.
Information related to oor-ceiling effect is
almost completely absent. Factorial validity was
reported in 65% of the studies. Construct validity
(e.g. convergent, divergent) was present in 100%
of the reports. Predictive validity measures are
very scarce. Measurement invariance among
groups was evaluated in 29%, 35% informed on
the administration length and none reported the
time needed for scoring.
Vivolo-Kantor et al. PsychInfo, PsychArticles, MedLine, ERIC, the 41 Bullying and cyberbullying Measurement strategies are inconsistent among
(2014) Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, the measurement strategies reviewing and studies. Self-reports are the most common
Professional Development Collection, SocIndex analyzing their content. instruments. Measured use varying terminology
with Full Text, Expanded Academic Index ASAP, and most of them include physical and verbal
Science Direct and a previous review. bullying. About one fourth include denition of
bullying and about one third include the word
bullying. It is uncommon to include aspect such
as repetition, power imbalance, aggression and
intentional harm. All reported validity and
reliability but with different statistics.
Vreeman and Carroll MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Educational 26 Effectiveness of anti-bullying Curriculum based programs reduced bullying in 4
(2007) Resources Information Center, the Physical interventions taking into account out of 10 studies; whole-school multidisciplinary
Education Index, Sociology: A SAGE Full-Text categories such as curriculum, intervention reduced bullying in 7 out of 10
Collection, Cochrane Clinical Trials Registry and multidisciplinary/whole-school, social programs. No bullying reduction was found in 3
references. skills, mentoring and social worker out of 4 social skills interventions. The mentoring
support. study (1 out of 1) and social worker support (1
out of 1) yielded desirable results. There was a
great variability among the programs within the
categories in duration, implementation strategies,
Database list was extracted from the report published by Farrington et al. (2012) cited in the method section of the article for details on searches.

data. Also, countries and continents were found to be signicant moder- 3.1.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews
ators, namely, boys cyberbullied more in some geographic zones and A few systematic reviews focused on specic geographic zones such
there were no sex differences in other zones. All the effect sizes were as Greece (Antoniadou & Kokkinos, 2015) or South Korea (Hong et al.,
below .01 except for Germany (r = .18, 95% CI: .15.21). 2014). The former concludes that cyberbullying is an existing but
A broad meta-analysis on individual and contextual predictors of understudied phenomenon in Greece where research is mostly unspe-
bullying including 153 studies conducted by Cook et al. (2010) found cic, descriptive, or with small samples. The latter is based on a holistic
that more boys were involved in perpetration (r = .18, 95% CI: ecological framework showing that mesosystem variables are still
.15.23), victimization (r = .06, 95% CI: .05.10), or bully/victim status understudied. Both articles include only narrative results and do not cal-
(r = .10, 95% CI: .04.12) with small effect sizes. Relationships between culate common metrics.
age and perpetration were weak (r = .09, 95% CI: .05.12) and absent Prevalence was also reported in non-meta-analytic systematic re-
for victimization (r = .01, 95% CI: .05.07) and bully/victim status views. Among them, Tokunaga (2010) found that the most frequent
(r = .01, 95% CI: .01.04). cybervictimization rates were between 20% and 40%, although rates as
Another broad meta-analysis conducted by Kowalski et al. (2014) low as 6.5% and as high as 72% were also reported. The author attributed
who synthesized 131 studies on risk and protective factors and out- the variability mostly to differences in dening the phenomenon.
comes of cyberbullying included age, among other variables, in relation Bottino et al. (2015) found very similar prevalence rates for
to perpetration and victimization. The results show weak observed cor- cyberbullying ranging from 6.5% to 72%. Hamm et al. (2015) reported
relation corrected for sample error for cyberbullying perpetration and cyberbullying perpetration and victimization median rates of 15.2%
age (r = .05, 95% CI: .03.08), and non-signicant relationship with vic- and 23%, respectively.
timization (r = .01 95% CI: .01 to .04). Qualitative results reported by Hamm et al. (2015) show that 6
Mitsopoulou and Giovazolias (2015) also performed a meta- studies found that cyberbullying increased with age and 4 studies
analysis on gender and age in relation to bullying. The study included found no effect of age on this behavior. Rates of cybervictimization
19 articles located by searches and inclusion/exclusion criteria are found to be higher in girls (according to 7 studies vs. 2 studies
focused on the relationship between personality variables and with no sex-differences), whereas higher rates of cyber-perpetration
empathy with bullying. Results are presented as a forest plot with were found in boys (3 studies vs. 0). Tokunaga (2010) includes a nar-
Hedge's g for 11 studies on victimization and/or perpetration but no rative description of contradictory ndings across the reviewed
overall effect size was calculated. More boys and girls were involved studies and suggests a curvilinear relationship of cybervictimization
according to the results of 10 out of 11 studies. The results section prevalence with age with the highest rates between 7th and 8th
also report that that younger children engage in more bullying behavior grades. The majority of studies reviewed by this author found no dif-
(B = .0169, p b .001, SE = .001) providing no further details. ferences in cybervictimization rates between girls and boys.
12 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

3.2. Relationship between bullying and cyberbullying: Meta-analytic results inconsistent throughout the literature. The authors narratively describe
some risk and protective factors found among the reviewed studies
Modecki et al. (2014) found large samplesize weighted mean rela- such as other kinds of violence, family structure, substance use, self-
tionships between bullying and cyberbullying perpetration (r = .47, efcacy, and beliefs on aggression. They also describe outcomes such
95% CI: .47.47) and victimization (r = .40, 95% CI: .40.41) in a as depression and physical health issues.
meta-analysis including 80 studies. Correlations were stronger for rela- Narrative results of another non-meta-analytic systematic review
tional perpetration, evaluations of perpetration that did not focus on led to the conclusion that peer victimization related to sexual orienta-
school-centered traditional bullying and that did not impose randomi- tion or gender identity/expression (Collier et al., 2013) is related to
zation. For victimization, stronger correlation was found for traditional lower sense of belonging to school, higher depressive symptoms, dis-
measures of relational victimization than other types of victimization. ruptions in educational trajectories, traumatic stress, and alcohol and
Kowalski et al. (2014) included 131 studies and found that after substance use. Results on suicidality were inconclusive. Another sys-
cybervictimization, traditional bullying perpetration was the most im- tematic review with narrative results examined bullying and
portant risk factor for cyberbullying perpetration (r = .45, 95% CI: cyberbullying in deaf and hearing-impaired students (Hadjikakou &
.41.48) and, at the same time, traditional victimization was the stron- Papas, 2012), suggesting higher prevalence in comparison to the hear-
gest risk factor for cybervictimization (r = .40, 95% CI: .37.42). Corre- ing peers. Nevertheless, results show that most of these studies are
lation between cybervictimization and traditional victimization was qualitative or with small samples and, therefore, did not allow rm con-
lower for middle school and high school if compared to participants clusions. Rose et al. (2011) found that the majority of studies on bully-
from middle and high schools included in the same sample. North ing victimization among children with disabilities found higher rates in
American samples showed bigger effect sizes for the relationships of comparison to the nondisabled students. Research in inclusive settings
cybervictimization with bullying perpetration and victimization and found similar rates between students with and without disabilities.
cyberbullying with traditional bullying when compared to other geo-
graphical zones. When the denition of bullying or the word bully 3.4. Risk and protective factors
was included in the assessment, correlations between cyberbullying
and traditional victimization were smaller. 3.4.1. Meta-analytic results
Table 3 shows risk and protective factors for bullying and
3.3. Minorities' involvement in bullying cyberbullying with small, medium, and large effect sizes.
The meta-analysis conducted by Cook et al. (2010) including 153
3.3.1. Meta-analytic results studies divided predictors of bullying into individual and contextual
A meta-analysis conducted by Fedewa and Ahn (2011) included 18 factors. The authors found that, besides gender and age (included in a
studies on victimization in sexual-minority groups. It was found that different section), individual predictors of perpetration were (ordered
sexually charged victimization was more frequent in sexual minority by the effect sizes) externalizing behavior (r = .34, 95% CI: .30.38)
group when compared to the majority group (OR = 2.24, 95% CI = and other-related cognitions (e.g. perspective taking or normative
1.633.08) with medium effect size. Also physical and sexual victimiza- beliefs about others) (r = .34, 95% CI: .26 to .41), academic per-
tion was higher in sexual minorities but with a smaller effect size formance (r = .21, 95% CI: .17 to .25), social problem solving
(OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.292.58). Outcomes of victimization were (r = .17, 95% CI: .11 to .22), internalizing behavior (r = .12, 95%
also experienced more among sexual minorities with the largest effects CI: .06.17), and social competence (r = .12, 95% CI: .05 to .19),
for physical and sexual abuse (OR = 3.47, 95% CI = 2.265.34), suicide and self-related cognitions (r = 07, 95% CI: .02 to .14). Individual
attempt (OR = 2.41, 95% CI: 1.843.15), and ideation (OR = 2.17, 95% predictors of victimization were social competence (r = .30, 95% CI:
CI: 1.762.66). .22 to .38), internalizing problems (r = .25, 95% CI: .20.28), self-
Van Geel et al. (2014a) synthesized ndings from 16 studies on the related cognitions (r = .16, 95% CI: .10 to .21), social problem
relationship between overweight and obesity with peer victimization. solving (r = .13, 95% CI: .06 to .18), externalizing behavior
Peer victimization was more common among overweight youth (r = .12, 95% CI: .10.16), and academic performance (r = .04, 95%
(OR = 1.19, 95% CI: 1.102.22) and youth with obesity (OR = 1.51, CI: .01 to .08). Bully/victim status was predicted by individual fac-
95% CI: 1.341.72) compared to the normal-weight peers with small ef- tors such as self-related cognitions (e.g. self-respect or self-esteem)
fect sizes. Results were not moderated by gender. (r = .40, 95% CI: .29 to .50), social-competence (r = .36, 95%
Ethnic differences in peer victimization were studied by Vitoroulis CI: .28 to .45), externalizing behavior (r = .33, 95% CI: .18.48),
and Vaillancourt (2015) synthesizing the results of 105 studies. Overall and academic performance (r = .32, no CI reported), internalizing be-
effect size showed no difference in peer victimization suffered by major- havior (r = .22, 95% CI: .12.33), other related cognitions (r = .20,
ity and minority groups (d = .01, 95% CI: .09 to .10). Moderator no CI reported) and social problem solving (r = .18, 95% CI: .06 to
analyses showed that majority suffered more victimization in the US .30). Contextual predictors for perpetration were peer inuence
in comparison to minorities (d = .23, 95% CI: .22.44) and minority suf- (r = .34, 95% CI: .26 to .42), community factors (r = .22, 95%
fered more victimization in the UK when compared to the minority CI: .14 to .29), school climate (r = .18, 95% CI: .12 to .23),
(d = .16; 95% CI: .02.35) with rather small effect sizes. Dyadic compar- family/home environment (r = .17, 95% CI: .13 to .20), and peer
isons of different ethnic groups show small effect sizes (d b .1). status (r = .10, 95% CI: .06 to .14). Contextual predictors of
victimization were peer status (r = .35, 95% CI: .28 to .41), school
3.3.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews climate (r = .16, 95% CI: .10 to .21), community factors (r = .15,
Hamm et al. (2015) reviewed 7 studies on minorities' involvement 95% CI: .08 to .22), and family/home environment (r .10, 95% CI:
in cyberbullying with inconclusive results with some studies reporting .07 to .13). For bully/victims, contextual predictors were peer inu-
only rates for ethnic minorities, some nding more cyberbullying ence (r = .44, no CI reported), peer status (r = .36, 95% CI: .23 to
among ethnic minorities, others among majorities, and 3 nding no eth- .49), school climate (r = .32, 95% CI: .26 to .38), and family/
nic differences. These results are narrative. home environment (r = .20, 95% CI: .11 to .29).
A non-meta-analytic systematic review on bullying among African Some meta-analyses were also conducted on specic risk or
Americans found that, according to the majority of the studies, its protective factors. Gini Pozzoli, and Hymel, (2014) included 15 studies
prevalence was higher in comparison to other students (Albdour & nding that moral disengagement was related to perpetration of
Krouse, 2014). Narrative results of higher prevalence of involvement bullying (r = .25, 95% CI = .17.32) and cyberbullying (r = .31, 95%
in different roles, namely bullies, victims, or bully/victims are CI = .27.36) both with medium effect sizes. Mitsopoulou and
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 13

Table 3
Risk and protective factors in relation to bullying and cyberbullying.

Small effect sizes (r = .10.24, Medium effect sizes (r = .25.39, Large effect sizes r N .40 or
OR = 1.502.49, d or g = .20.49) OR = 2.504.29 d or g = .50.79) OR N 4.30 d or g = N .80

Bullying perpetration
Cook et al. (2010): Cook et al. (2010):
- Academic performance (), - Externalizing behavior (+),
- Social problem solving (), - Other-related cognitions (),
- Internalizing behavior (+), - Peer inuence ()
- Social competence (), Gini, Pozzoli, and Hymel, (2014):
- Family/home environment (), - Moral disengagement (+)
- School climate (),
- Community factors ()
- Peer status ()
Mitsopoulou and Giovazolias (2015):
- Openness (),
- Neuroticism(+),
- Agreeableness ()
- Affective empathy ()

Bullying victimization
Cook et al. (2010): Cook et al. (2010):
- Externalizing behavior (+), - Internalizing problems (+),
- Self-related cognitions (), - Social competence (),
- Social problem solving (), - Peer status ()
- Family/home environment (),
- School climate (),
- Community factors ()
Mitsopoulou and Giovazolias (2015):
- Neuroticism (+)
Tippett and Wolke (2014):
- Low socioeconomic status (+)
- High socioeconomic status ()
Reijntjes et al. (2011)
- Externalizing problems (+)
Lereya et al. (2013), including cyber-victimization:
- Parental involvement and support ()
- Warmth and affection ()
- Negative parenting in general (+),
- Abuse and neglect (+),
- Maladaptive parenting (+)

Cook et al. (2010): Cook et al. (2010): Cook et al. (2010):
- Internalizing behavior (+), - Externalizing behavior (+), - Peer inuence ()
- Other related cognitions (), - Social-competence (),
- Social problem solving () - Self-related cognitions (),
- Family/home environment () - Academic performance (),
Tippett and Wolke (2014): - School climate ()
- low socioeconomic status (+) - Peer status ()
Lereya et al. (2013), including cyber-bully/victimization:
- Positive parenting in general (),
- Authoritative parents (),
- Parental involvement and support (),
- Supervision (),
- Warmth and affection ()
- Overall negative parenting (+)

Kowalski et al. (2014): Gini, Pozzoli, and Hymel,(2014); Kowalski et al. (2014):
- Frequency of Internet use (+), Kowalski et al. (2014): - Cybervictimization (+)
- Anger (+), - moral disengagement (+)
- Risky online behavior (+), Kowalski et al. (2014):
- Narcissism (+), - Normative beliefs about aggression (+)
- Empathy (),
- School climate ()
- School safety ()

Kowalski et al. (2014):
- Frequency of Internet use (+),
- Moral disengagement (+),
- Risky online behavior (+)
- Hyperactivity (+)
- School safety ()
- School climate ()

Note: (+) = positive effect, () = negative effect.

14 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

Giovazolias (2015) synthesized 19 studies nding relationships be- other continents. For bully/victims, involvement and support were
tween bullying perpetration and personality variables such as openness lower when assessments were conducted through self-reports,
(r = .11, 95% CI: .19 to .03), neuroticism (r = .10, 95% CI: .04.15), warmth and affection were lower outside Europe and America, in
extraversion (r = .08, 95% CI: .03.12), agreeableness (r = .24, 95% CI: older children and studies using self-reports and overall negative
.31 to .17), conscientiousness (r = .08, 95% CI: .23 to .07), parenting and maladaptive parenting were observed outside
cognitive empathy (r = .08, 95% CI: .12 to .04), and affective Europe and America.
empathy (r = .16, 95% CI: .19 to .12). For victimization, the only Some meta-analyses were performed only on longitudinal studies
relationship was found with neuroticism (r = .24, 95% CI: .18.29). with the objective of nding variables which predict bullying and vic-
Based on 131 empirical studies, Kowalski et al. (2014) reported risk timization over time. Reijntjes and colleagues found in a meta-analysis
and protective factors for cyberbullying perpetration and victimization. including 18 studies that internalizing problems predict victimization
These factors included traditional bullying, traditional victimization, over time (Reijntjes et al., 2011) with very small effect size (r = .08,
and age, which were included in the corresponding paragraphs. Other 95% CI: .04.21). Studies using SEM and the same informant yielded
risk factors for cyberbullying perpetration were cybervictimization larger effect sizes. Moreover, in another meta-analysis with 14 articles
(r = .51, 95% CI: .48.55), normative beliefs about aggression (r = .37, (Reijntjes et al., 2011), it was found that externalizing problems predict
95% CI: .24.48), moral disengagement (r = .27, 95% CI: .20.34), risky victimization over time, also with small effect size (r = .13, 95% CI:
online behavior (r = .23, 95% CI: .20.26), narcissism (r = .22, 95% CI: .04.21) with no moderators.
.18.26), frequency of Internet use (r = .20, 95% CI: .12.28), and
anger (r = .20, 95% CI: .17.22). Protective factors against cyberbullying 3.4.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews
perpetration were school safety (r = .13, 95% CI: .16 to .10), empa- A non-meta-analytic systematic review conducted by van Noorden
thy (r = .12, 95% CI: .14 to .09), school climate (r = .12, 95% et al. (2015) found that, according to the majority of the 40 included
CI = .14 to .10), parental monitoring (r = .07, 95% CI: .13 to studies, victimization was related to cognitive but not affective empa-
.03), and perceived support (r = .04, 95% CI = .06 to .02). thy, perpetration was negatively related to cognitive and affective em-
Risk factors for cybervictimization were anger (r = .20, 95% CI: pathy, defending the victim was positively related to both cognitive
.16.23), risky online behavior (r = .18, 95% CI: .14.21), frequency of and affective empathy and mixed results were found for bystanding.
Internet use (r = .17, 95% CI: .11.22), moral disengagement (r = .15, A review of observational studies showed that, according to the ma-
95% CI: .11.18), and hyperactivity (r = .11, 95% CI: .09.13). Protective jority of the 31 included articles, risk factors for bullying can be found
factors against cybervictimization were school safety (r = .22, 95% CI: among school-related variables such as inequalities in income, poverty,
.24 to .19), school climate (r = .14, 95% CI: .14 to .19), social in- lack of anti-bullying norms, decient classroom management and
telligence (r = .08, 95% CI: .15 to .02), perceived support (r = teacher support and also to neighborhood-related variables such as
.08, 95% CI: .11 to .06), and parental monitoring (r = .06, 95% CI: inequalities in income and violence in the city or country. Findings
.10 to .20). on school and classroom size were inconsistent (Machado Azeredo et
Involvement in bullying and socioeconomic status was studied by al., 2015).
Tippett and Wolke (2014) including 28 articles. Victimization was pos- Perren et al. (2012) reviewed strategies for tackling cyberbullying
itively related to low (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.361.71) and negatively re- nding that most of the studies focus on strategies themselves without
lated to high socioeconomic status (OR = .73, 95% CI: .63.86) with evaluating their actual success. Narrative results show that parental
small effect sizes. Similar results were found for perpetration and low supervision and behavior seem to be useful for prevention while
socioeconomic status (OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.021.27) and high socioeco- confronting perpetrators, technical solutions such as blocking, seeking
nomic status (OR = .89, 95% CI: .83.95). A bullyvictim status was only support from friends, and ignoring the problem are informed by youth
positively related to low socioeconomic status (OR = 1.71, 95% CI: 1.22 with the objective of combating the problem or buffering its effects.
2.39). Some of these associations became much weaker when adjusted Seeking support from teachers and parents was less common.
for publication bias. Although not specically focused on risk and protective factors, two
Positive and negative parenting has also been studied in relation to systematic reviews reported parents' (Harcourt et al., 2014), students',
bullying and cyberbullying. Lereya et al. (2013) found that victimization and teachers' (O'Brien, 2009) understanding of bullying. Parents de-
(including bullying and cybervictimization) was related to having less mand more information on bullying and have difculty in recognizing
parental involvement and support (g = .22; 95% CI: .29 to .15), the phenomenon, suggesting improvement of school response
less warmth and affection (g = .22; 95% CI: .30 to .14), less au- Harcourt et al. (2014)). A systematic review conducted in the UK
thoritative parents (g = .19, 95% CI: .28 to .11), less supervision shows that teachers dene bullying in a broader way when compared
(g = .16, 95% CI: .21 to .12), worse parentchild communication to students and that denitions employed by secondary students and
(g = .12; 95% CI: .20 to .05), and less positive parenting in general teachers include different components of the phenomenon such as di-
(g = .19; 95% CI: .23 to .15). On the other hand, victimization was rect bullying, social exclusion, repetition, power imbalance, intentional-
also related to more negative parenting in general (g = .26, 95% CI: ity, etc. O'Brien (2009)).
.16.36), with more abuse and neglect (g = .31, 95% CI: .18.44), mal-
adaptive parenting (g = .27, 95% CI: .15.40) and overprotection 3.5. Consequences of bullying and cyberbullying
(g = .10, 95% CI: .03.17). A similar pattern was found in bully/victims,
with less positive parenting in general (g = .33, 95% CI: .41 to 3.5.1. Meta-analytic results
.26), less warmth and affection (g = .42, 95% CI: .54 to .31), Table 4 shows consequences of bullying and cyberbullying with
less authoritative parents (g = .39, 95% CI: .61 to .18), less su- small, medium, and large effect sizes.
pervision (g = .34, 95% CI: .54 to .14), parental involvement Kowalski et al. (2014) reported the outcomes of cyberbullying
and support (g = .30, 95% CI: .40 to .20), and worse parent perpetration (ordered by effect sizes) such as drug and alcohol use
child communication (g = .17, 95% CI: .30 to .04). Overall neg- (r = .27, 95% CI: .22.31), anxiety (r = .16, 95% CI: .07.25), depression
ative parenting was also more common in bully/victims (g = .48, (r = .15, 95% CI: .11.19), life satisfaction (r = .11, 95% CI: .14 to
95% CI: .26.70), with more abuse and neglect (g = .68, 95% CI: .08), self-esteem (r = .10, 95% CI: .13 to .07), loneliness (r =
.44.92) and maladaptive parenting (g = .49, 95% CI: .23.75). For vic- .09, 95% CI: .04.13), and academic achievement (r = .09, 95% CI:
tims, communication levels were lower when assessment was conduct- .18 to .01). Cybervictimization was related to stress (r = .34,
ed through peer-nomination, warmth and affection were lower for older 95% CI: .29.38), suicidal ideation (r = .27, 95% CI = .24.31),
children, and supervision was lower in Europe when compared to depression (r = .24, 95% CI: .21.27), self-esteem (r = .17, 95%
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 15

Table 4
Outcomes of bullying and cyberbullying.

Small effect sizes Medium effect sizes Large effect sizes

r = .10.24, OR = 1.50 to 2.49 r = .25.39, OR = 2.504.29 r N .40 or OR N4 .30

Bullying perpetration
Holt et al. (2015): Holt et al. (2015):
- Suicidal ideation (+) - Suicidal behavior (+)
Van Geel et al. (2014b): Tto et al. (2011b):
- Weapon carrying (+) - Offending later in life (+)
Tto et al. (2012):
- Violence later in life (+)
Tto, Farrington, Lsel, Crago, and Theodorakis (in press):
- Drug use (+)

Bullying victimization
Nakamoto and Schwartz (2009): Hawker and Boulton (2000) with shared Hawker and Boulton (2000) with
- Academic achievement () method variance: shared method variance:
Gini and Pozzoli (2013): - General self-esteem () - Depression (+)
- Psychosomatic problems (+) - Social-esteem ()
Gini, Pozzoli, Lenzi, et al. (2014): - Loneliness (+)
- Headache (+) - Generalized and social anxiety (+)
van Geel et al. (in press): Holt et al. (2015); van Geel et al. (2014c):
- Sleeping problems (+) - Suicidal behavior (+)
Van Dam et al. (2012):
- Psychotic symptoms (+)
Holt et al. (2015); van Geel et al. (2014c):
- Suicidal ideation (+)
Van Geel et al. (2014b):
- Weapon carrying (+)
Reijntjes et al. (2010)
- Internalizing problems over time (+)
- Externalizing problems over time (+)
Tto et al. (2011a):
- Depression (+)
Cunningham et al. (2015):
- Psychotic symptoms later in life

Holt et al. (2015): Van Geel et al. (2014b):
- Suicidal behavior (+) - Weapon carrying (+)
- Suicidal ideation (+)

Kowalski et al. (2014): Kowalski et al. (2014):
- Anxiety (+), - Drug and alcohol use (+)
- Depression (+),
- Life satisfaction (),
- Self-esteem (),

Kowalski et al. (2014): Kowalski et al. (2014):
- Depression (+), - Stress (+),
- Self-esteem (), - Suicidal ideation (+)
- Anxiety (+),
- Loneliness (+),
- Life satisfaction (),
- Conduct problems (+),
- Somatic symptoms (+),
- Emotional problems (+),
- Drug and alcohol use (+)

Note: (+) = positive effect, () = negative effect.

CI: .21 to .13), anxiety (r = .24, 95% CI: .18.31), loneliness (r = victimization and academic achievement (r = .12, 95% CI: .15 to
.24, 95% CI: .15.33), life satisfaction (r = .21, 95% CI: .28 to .09). Effect sizes were smaller for self-reports and larger for peer re-
.14), conduct problems (r = .19, 95% CI: .18.21), somatic symptoms ports and multiple informants. Effects were also larger for the studies
(r = .19, 95% CI: .15.23), emotional problems (r = .18, 95% CI: reporting school records instead of self-reported grades, studies with
.16.20), drug and alcohol use (r = .15, 95% CI: .08.21), and shared method variance and research in Asia. No differences between
prosocial behaviors (r = .05, 95% CI: .06 to .03). Relationships girls and boys were found.
between cybervictimization with loneliness, and self-esteem and be- Gini and Pozzoli (2013) conducted a meta-analysis with 30 studies
tween cyberbullying with self-esteem were larger in North American separating the results for longitudinal and correlational research. It
samples. Relationship between cyberbullying and depression was was found that psychosomatic problems are more common in victims
smaller when traditional bullying or victimization was measured in of bullying in longitudinal (OR = 2.39, 95% CI: 1.763.24) and also
the same study. Relationship between cybervictimization and de- cross-sectional studies (OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.912.46). In the cross-
pression was larger for females. sectional studies, effect size was smaller for research with more females.
Nakamoto and Schwartz (2009) included 33 studies in their analysis A meta-analysis conducted with 20 articles focused specically on
and found rather weak negative relationship between peer headache Gini, Pozzoli, Lenzi et al. (2014) found a positive relationship
16 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

with being bullied across longitudinal (OR = 2.10, 95% CI: 1.193.71) and the length of follow-ups (longer follow-ups were related to less vi-
and cross-sectional studies (OR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.702.35). Also, in olence). Victimization was also a predictor of later violence, although
this study, effect size was smaller for research with more females in with smaller effect size (adjusted OR = 1.42; 95% CI: 1.251.62) and
cross-sectional design. no moderators were signicant. Tto et al. (in press) also found that
Sleeping problems related to victimization were analyzed by van perpetration predicts drug use later in life (OR = 2.22, 95% CI: 1.60
Geel et al. (in press) including 21 articles. Results show that victims 3.07) in a meta-analysis of 18 studies, with other factors such as child-
are more affected by these problems than non-victimized children hood individual or school risks explaining much variation (adjusted
(OR = 2.21; 95% CI: 2.012.44) with larger effect for younger children. OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.201.66). Victimization, on the other hand, does
A meta-analysis including 14 articles (van Dam et al., 2012) found that not predict later drug use (adjusted OR = 1.02; 95% CI: .941.11).
victimization was related to psychotic symptoms in general population Tto et al. (2011a) also found in a meta-analysis of 28 articles that vic-
(OR = 2.30, 95% CI: 1.53.4). Stronger relationship was found for in- timization predicts depression later in life (adjusted OR = 1.99; 95% CI:
creased duration, frequency, and severity of bullying. 1.712.32). Younger age of victimization was related to more depres-
Psychosocial maladjustment was studied by Hawker and Boulton sion, later assessments and longer follow-ups were related to less de-
(2000) in a meta-analysis including 23 studies. Peer victimization was pression. Another study, also with 28 articles (Tto et al., 2011b),
signicantly related to depression (r = .45 with shared method vari- found that perpetration predicted offending later in life (adjusted
ance and r = .29 with no shared method variance), general self- OR = 2.50; 95% CI: 2.033.08). Effects were stronger for perpetration
esteem (r = .39 with shared method variance and r = .21 with no in older children and weaker with long follow-ups and later outcome
shared method variance), social-esteem (r = .35 with shared method measures. A meta-analysis conducted on 10 prospective studies by
variance and r = .23 with no shared method variance), loneliness Cunningham et al. (2015) showed that bullying was related to psychot-
(r = .32 with shared method variance and r = .25 with no shared ic symptoms later in life (OR = 2.15, 95% CI: 1.144.04) with no report-
method variance), and generalized and social anxiety (r = .25 with ed moderators.
shared method variance and r = .19 with no shared method variance).
Condence intervals were not reported. 3.5.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews
Suicidal behavior and ideation were commonly studied variables. Different non-meta-analytic systematic reviews examined in-
Holt et al. (2015) found that victimization was related to suicidal idea- volvement in bullying or cyberbullying as perpetrators, victims, or
tion (OR = 2.34; 95% CI: 2.032.69) and behavior (OR = 2.94; 95% CI: bully/victims is related to suicidal ideation and behavior. Kim and
2.363.67). Perpetration was also related to suicidal ideation (OR = Leventhal (2008) found that most of the studies report elevated
2.12; 95% CI: 1.672.69) and behavior (OR = 2.62; 95% CI: 1.514.55). risk of suicidal ideation and behavior in perpetrators, victims, and
Relationships between being a bully/victim and suicidal ideation bully/victims. Klomek, Sourander, and Gould (2010) found that
(OR = 3.81; 95% CI: 2.136.80) or behavior (OR = 4.02; 95% CI: 2.39 most of the cross-sectional studies report increased risk of suicidal
6.76) were between moderate and strong. Studies conducted in the ideation and behavior in perpetrators and victims, stronger for fe-
USA had larger effects for perpetration with suicidal ideation and males than males. Moreover, longitudinal studies are still scarce,
bully/victim status with suicidal behavior. For the bully/victim status, but their results suggest similar pattern. Narrative results reported
studies with denitional and non-behavioral evaluation found larger by Shireen et al. (2014) also suggest that involvement in bullying is
effects. Van Geel, et al. (2014c) included 36 studies nding that victim- related to suicide and that this relationship is stronger for females.
ization was related to suicidal ideation (adjusted OR = 2.18, 95% CI: Another systematic review shows that ve out of seven included
2.052.32) with stronger effect for cyberbullying than for traditional studies showed that victimization is related to alcohol misuse in adoles-
bullying and no other signicant moderators. Peer victimization was cents (Topper & Conrod, in press). Narrative results informed by
also related to suicidal attempts (OR = 2.55; 95% CI: 1.953.34) with Tokunaga (2010) suggest that cyberbullying victimization is related to
no signicant moderators and no separate analysis for traditional vs. low academic achievement, psychosocial and affective problems. A sys-
cyberbullying due to the low number of studies. tematic review of studies on school shooting (Sommer et al., 2014)
Relationship between involvement in bullying and weapon carrying shows that 29.9% of the shooters reported physical victimization,
was studied in a meta-analysis conducted on 25 articles by van Geel, whereas this kind of victimization was explicitly excluded in 31.2%.
Vedder, and Tanilon (2014b). Victimization and perpetration were re- More than a half (53.7%) report peer rejection (explicitly excluded in
lated to weapon carrying (adjusted OR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.602.36 and 14.9%) and about one out of eight (13.4%) report bullying perpetration.
adjusted OR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.902.77, respectively). No signicant A systematic review conducted by Tto et al. (2014) on prospective
moderators were found for victimization and stronger effect size was longitudinal studies shows that the progression from bullying to inter-
found for perpetration in studies with higher response rate (above nalizing and externalizing problems can be interrupted by factors such
75%). No differences were found between the U.S. studies and research as high school achievement, social skills, strong family attachment and
from other countries for victims and perpetrators. Large effect sizes structure, social support and prosocial friends.
were found between being a bully/victim and weapon carrying
(OR = 4.95; 95% CI: 3.776.50) larger for the studies conducted in the 3.6. Effectiveness of anti-bullying programs
U.S. in comparison to other countries.
Some meta-analyses were conducted with longitudinal studies to 3.6.1. Meta-analytic results
nd long-term outcomes of bullying and victimization. Among them, Meta-analyses on effectiveness of anti-bullying programs show in-
Reijntjes et al. (2010) found that victimization signicantly predicts in- consistent ndings. A study conducted by Farrington and Tto (2009),
ternalizing problems over time (r = .18, 95% CI = .12.24) with larger including 89 empirical reports, found that, overall, programs are effec-
effects for studies that used SEM and the same informant. On the tive in reducing perpetration (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.181.42) and victim-
other hand, Reijntjes et al. (2011) found that victimization signicant- ization (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.181.42). For perpetration, effects were
ly predicts externalizing problems over time (r = .14, 95% CI: larger for older children (11 and above), outcome measures applied
.09.19) with no moderator effects. Tto et al. (2012) performed a two or more times per month, studies published before 2003 and Nor-
meta-analysis including 28 studies nding that perpetration predict- wegian reports. For victimization, effects were larger for outcome mea-
ed violence later in life (adjusted OR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.692.45). The ef- sures applied two or more times per month, studies in Norway, outside
fect size was negatively related to the age of perpetration assessment the US/Canada, studies in Europe, randomized experiments and before-
(younger age of perpetration was related to more violence), the age of after/intervention control designs and for older children (11 or above
outcome assessment (later assessments were related to less violence) compared between studies). Ferguson et al. (2007) meta-analyzed 45
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 17

articles and also found that the programs produced positive results on children of 20 h or more (OR = 1.62 vs. 1.25), intensity for teachers of
bullying outcome (without separating victimization and perpetration) 10 h or more (OR = 1.52 vs. 1.19), duration for children of 270 days
with small effect size (r = .12, 95% CI: .08.17). At-risk status moderated or more (OR = 1.49 vs. 1.17), with disciplinary methods (OR = 1.59
the effect with more impact for higher-risk participants and there no vs. 1.31), duration for teachers of 4 or more days (OR = 1.50 vs. 1.22),
moderator effect of grade level (elementary, middle, or high school) with classroom management (OR = 1.44 vs. 1.15), teacher training
and outcome measure. Lee et al. (2015) focused on victimization as a (OR = 1.46 vs. 1.24), classroom rules (OR = 1.44 vs. 1.15), whole-
primary outcome including 13 studies also nding a small overall effect school policy (OR = 1.44 vs. 1.19), school conferences (OR = 1.49 vs.
size (d = .15, 95% CI: .10.20) with larger effect for secondary students 1.30), a total number of 11 or more elements (OR = 1.48 vs. 1.30),
in comparison to elementary pupils (d = .32 vs. .14). Merrell et al. based on Olweus (OR = 1.50 vs. 1.31), with information for parents
(2008) report 28 effect sizes on different variables related to bullying, (OR = 1.44 vs. 1.21) and cooperative group work (OR = 1.48 vs. 1.31).
among which, small effect sizes were found on self-reported positive at- For victimization, Lee et al. (2015) found larger effect sizes for ele-
titudes toward bullying (d = .15), victimization (d = .27), witnessing ments such as emotional control training (d = .46 vs. .13), peer counsel-
bullying (d = .35) and intervention to stop it (d = .17). Teacher reports ing (d = .33 vs. .13), with a school policy against bullying (d = .31 vs.
showed small effects on witnessed students being bullied (d = .16), .12).
staff response (d = .30) and attitudes about school safety (d = .16)
and large effects on knowledge on bullying prevention (d = 1.52) and
3.7.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews
intervention skills (d = .99). Peer reports showed small effect on partic-
Narrative results of the non-meta-analytic systematic review con-
ipation in bullying (d = .32). No condence intervals were reported.
ducted by Cantone et al. (2015) suggest that whole-school interven-
Polanin, Espelage, and Pigott (2012) studied the effectiveness of anti-
tions are the most effective. Systematically monitored programs are
bullying programs on bystander intervention including 12 articles.
more effective in comparison to those without monitoring (Smith
Again, the results show small positive effect on bystander intervention
et al., 2004). Vreeman and Carroll (2007) found that, among curriculum
(g = .20, 95% CI: .11.29), greater in high school in comparison to pri-
studies, 4 out of 10 decreased bullying, 7 out of 10 whole-school inter-
mary schools and greater when facilitators were other than teachers.
ventions yielded desirable results, none of the 3 social skills trainings
A three-level meta-analysis using within-study analysis on 19 empirical
was effective and the programs with increased presence of social
articles (Yeager et al., in press) show that effectiveness of anti-bullying
workers (1) and mentoring (1) reduced bullying.
programs declines in older students with small effect in grades 17
(d = .13), in grades 8+ the programs were ineffective (d = .01), and
there was a signicant decline in grades 7th to 12th (b = .06, Z = 3.8. Evaluation strategies and methodologies: Non-meta-analytic
2.40, p = .016). systematic reviews

3.6.2. Additional information from non-meta-analytic systematic reviews Evans et al. (2014) reviewed studies on anti-bullying programs and
A non-meta-analytic systematic review reported by Baldry and found that, out of 22 evaluations of perpetration, 6 used only one item
Farrington (2007) found that among 16 programs, a half were effective and 16 used multi-item assessment. Similarly, out of 27 evaluations of
in reducing bullying in 10% or more, 2 had mixed results, 4 had small or victimization, 6 used one-item and 21 multi-item assessments. Among
negligible effects (less than 10%), and 2 had iatrogenic results (an in- the studies with one-item assessment 67% showed signicant desirable
crease of 10% or more). Narrative results described by Cantone et al. results on perpetration and 83% on victimization whereas among the
(2015) led to conclude that most of the programs are effective in the multi-item scales, 44% reported signicant results on perpetration and
short term but, due to the short follow-up periods, no conclusion can 57% on victimization.
be drawn on the long-term effects. Evans, Fraser, and Cotter (2014) Ryan and Smith (2009) reviewed evaluation practices used in anti-
found that 50% of the included studies were effective in reducing bullying programs. This systematic review found that, in relation to pro-
perpetration and 67% were effective in reducing victimization. Ac- gram monitoring, integrity promotion (providing manuals, training,
cording to the results found by Goodman et al. (2013) reviewing and supervising facilitators) was reported in 30 out of 31 programs
anti-bullying interventions in elementary and middle schools, 7 out of (64.5% manuals, 80.1% training, and 22.6% supervision; 16.1% included
8 programs reduced bullying. Smith et al. (2004), on the other hand, all three forms) and integrity verication (verifying if the intervention
found that none of the 14 reviewed studies effects were large, only 7% was provided as intended) was not reported in 38.7% of the programs
were medium whereas 93% of the effects on victimization and 92% ef- (35.5% reported adherence to manuals, 22.6% frequency and length of
fects on perpetration were small or trivial. Considering only the best ef- implementation activities, 22.6% quality of delivery, 19.3% participation
fect of each intervention, 67% showed small (the rest trivial) effects on and enthusiasm of the sample, 6.4% a check that only planned interven-
victimization and 33% showed small (the rest trivial) effects on tion was delivered). In relation to study design, it was found that 22
perpetration. studies were controlled and 9 uncontrolled, with two thirds reporting
no follow-up, and among the reported follow-ups, 25.8% were shorter
3.7. Effectiveness of different program components than 6 months, 29% 611 months, 25.8% 1223 months, and 19.3%
2 years or more. Less than 20% included qualitative components. Out
3.7.1. Meta-analytic results of 31 studies, 30 reported evaluation of involvement in bullying
Farrington and Tto (2009) compared the effectiveness of different (22.6% reported measures of involvement in perpetration/victimization
program components. For victimization, larger effect sizes were found together with other related behaviors and non-behavioral constructs,
for programs that did not include work with peers (OR = 1.39 vs. 48% reported measures of two out of three of these variables and 29%
1.13), that used disciplinary methods (OR = 1.44 vs. 1.21), with parent used only one). Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire in its modied ver-
training and meetings (OR = 1.41 vs. 1.20), duration for teachers of sion was used in 35.5% of the studies; 45.2% reported reliability and
4 days or more (OR = 1.41 vs. 1.18), with videos (OR = 1.38 vs. 1.17), 54.8% some evidence of validity. One informant was included in 54.8%
cooperative group work (OR = 1.38 vs. 1.20), duration for children of and two informants in 38.7%. All the studies reported some descriptive
270 days or more (OR = 1.35 vs. 1.15), intensity for children of 20 h statistics but only 35.5% reported effect sizes and only 5 out of 31 mul-
or more (OR = 1.42 vs. 1.21) and intensity for teachers of 10 h or tilevel statistical techniques. None of the studies met all the assumption
more (OR = 1.37 vs. 1.22). For perpetration, larger effect sizes were re- of randomized controlled trials or all the criteria for efcacy, effective-
ported for programs including parent training/meetings (OR = 1.57 vs. ness, or dissemination study. Another systematic review with no overall
1.25), with playground supervision (OR = 1.53 vs. 1.29), intensity for data and narrative results for each included study also concludes that
18 I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121

there is a great variability in research methodologies utilized in anti- 2014; Fedewa & Ahn, 2011; van Geel, Vedder, & Tanilon, 2014a), but
bullying interventions (Chalamandaris & Piette, 2015). being a member of a minority group does not necessarily lead to more
Vessey et al. (2014) reviewed psychometric properties of self-report victimization (Vitoroulis & Vaillancourt, 2015). Thus, specic interven-
instruments used to assess bullying. These authors found that 26% of tions should be designed to prevent bullying against the vulnerable
these instruments report testretest reliability, 90% present internal groups. It is worth mentioning that ndings from a systematic review
consistency (with most of the Cronbach's alphas above .70), and 26% (Rose et al., 2011) suggest that this situation improves in inclusive con-
with itemtotal correlations. Content validity, but without describing texts with more diversity. Although more studies are needed, these
detailed procedure, was reported in 48% of the articles. Information re- ndings should be taken into account when designing programs to pre-
lated to oor and ceiling effects was almost completely unavailable, fac- vent discriminatory bullying.
torial validity was reported in 65% of the studies and construct validity Individual and contextual risk and protective factors are related to
was present in all the studies. Administration length was informed in bullying and cyberbullying. Given the fact that most of the studies are
35% of the studies, invariance among groups in 29% and time needed correlational, it is difcult to draw conclusions on causality of these re-
for scoring was never reported. lationships. Nevertheless, even without being able to establish causality,
Berne et al. (2013) conducted a systematic review on instruments knowledge on these relationships provides valuable insights for under-
utilized for cyberbullying evaluation. The authors found that the con- standing and reducing the phenomena. Taking into account the stron-
cept of cyberbullying was included in 21 of the 44 instruments, and gest risk and protective factors (with medium to large effect sizes),
cybervictimization in 24 of the 44 instruments. Denitions of these con- traditional bullying perpetration is related to externalizing behavior,
cepts varied across the studies. The most commonly included devices other related cognition, peer inuence (Cook et al., 2010), and moral
were mobile phones (24 of the 44 instruments), and e-mail (21 of the disengagement (Gini, Pozzoli and Hymel, 2014). Risk and protective
44). Conrmatory factor analysis was conducted for 12 of the 44 factors for traditional victimization are internalizing problems, social
instruments and 13 had only theoretically based factors. Almost all the competence, and peer status whereas bully/victim status is related to
instruments were self-reports (41 of the 44). Internal consistency peer inuence, externalizing behavior, social competence, self-related
was reported for 18 out of the 44 (no other reliability was tested) and cognitions, academic performance, school climate, and peer status
the only form of tested validity was convergent (24 out of the 44 (Cook et al., 2010). Cyberbullying perpetration is related to moral disen-
instruments). gagement (Gini, Pozzoli and Hymel, 2014), cybervictimization and nor-
Vivolo-Kantor et al. (2014) systematically reviewed bullying and mative beliefs about aggression (Kowalski et al., 2014). No risk and
cyberbullying assessment strategies nding that 31.7% used the term protective factors with medium or large effects for cybervictimization
bullying, 26.8% provided a denition of the phenomenon (including were found and the largest effect sizes (although still small) were
different components). Self-reports only were used in 75.6% of the observed for anger, risky online behavior, and frequent Internet use
studies, 12.2% utilized peer-nomination only, and 4.9% included both. (Kowalski et al., 2014).
Dichotomous response scales were present in 26.8% and scale/index in Children who are involved in bullying and cyberbullying suffer from
80.5%. Timeframes for measuring the phenomena were unknown in devastating consequences found in reviews of cross-sectional and also
41.4% and 70.8% included both perpetration and victimization. Scoring prospective longitudinal studies. Once again, no causality could be
strategies consisting in summed total scores were reported in 51.2% of established and variables were classied as risk/protective factors or
the instruments. All the studies reported validity or reliability but with outcomes according to the original classication of each study. It is
different statistics (e.g. 90.2% included Cronbach's alpha, 26.8% test worth mentioning that variables can be risk/protective factors and out-
retest reliability and 2.4% split-half reliability). comes at the same time as reported by Reijntjes et al. (2011, 2010)). Ac-
In relation to these ndings, it is worth mentioning that narrative re- cording to the results of two meta-analyses published by these authors,
sults reported by Hong and Espelage (2012) suggest that mixed method there is a vicious circle in which externalizing and internalizing prob-
research with qualitative and quantitative methodologies could provide lems are predictors of victimization over time and, on the other hand,
new insights but its use is very uncommon. Qualitative research is usu- victimization predicts internalizing and externalizing problems over
ally naturalistic and focuses mostly on explicating the experiences of time. In relation to consequences, taking into account only variables
children involved in bullying from their own perspective (Patton et al., with medium to large effect sizes, traditional bullying perpetration is re-
in press). lated to suicidal behavior (Holt et al., 2015) and offending later in life
(Tto et al., 2011b). Traditional victimization relates to depression,
4. Conclusions and introduction to the Special Issue lower general self- and social-esteem, loneliness, generalized and social
anxiety (Holt et al., 2015) together with suicidal behavior (Holt et al.,
Findings of the current systematic review show that about one out of 2015, van Geel, Vedder, & Tanilon, 2014c). Bully/victim status is related
three children are involved in some forms of bullying (Modecki et al., to suicidal behavior and ideation (Holt et al., 2015) and weapon carry-
2014) and at least 1 out of 57 children are involved in cyberbullying ing (van Geel et al., 2014b). Cyberbullying perpetration is associated
(Hamm et al., 2015; Modecki et al., 2014; Tokunaga, 2010). Reviewed with drug and alcohol use and cybervictimization with stress and sui-
studies also show that there is an overlap between bullying and cidal ideation (Kowalski et al., 2014).
cyberbullying, nding strong relationships between the two (Kowalski Bullying and cyberbullying are prevalent, a lot of information has
et al., 2014; Modecki et al., 2014). Analysis of sex and age differences been gathered in relation to their individual and contextual risk and
yielded inconsistent results with trivial effect sizes for both variables protective factors and the consequences are devastating for all the stu-
(Barlett & Coyne, 2014, Cook et al., 2010, Kowalski et al., 2014) and dents involved in the phenomena. Thus, it is not surprising that dozens
one small effect showing more traditional bullying perpetration in of anti-bullying interventions have been conducted all over the world
boys (Cook et al., 2010). These ndings do not necessarily indicate and different meta-analyses and systematic reviews synthesized re-
that age and sex of the students are not important. On the other hand, search on the topic.
it seems that these relationships are complex and difcult to describe The current systematic review shows that programs might be effec-
with simple analyses. Relationship with age might be curvilinear as sug- tive in reducing bullying and victimization and that some programs and
gested by Tokunaga (2010) and more meta-analyses could be helpful in components work better than others. Unfortunately, the impact of these
nding sex differences focusing also on type (e.g. direct or indirect) or programs is small and methodologies and evaluations are frequently
severity of bullying. decient. A previous review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses
The current study shows that some minorities suffer from more vic- conducted by Tto et al. (2014) including six reports (namely Baldry
timization in comparison to the majority group (Albdour & Krouse, & Farrington, 2007; Farrington & Tto, 2009; Ferguson et al., 2007;
I. Zych et al. / Aggression and Violent Behavior 23 (2015) 121 19

Merrell et al., 2008; Smith et al., 2004; Vreeman & Carroll, 2007) analyze of studies on drug use among victims and perpetrators of bullying.
differences and similarity among these studies. Big differences were Once again, taking into account the importance of individual and also
found in numbers of searches and sources, timelines, languages, inclu- contextual factors reported in this article, an integration of different
sion/exclusion criteria and their actual application, including other re- models and factors inuencing bullying and bystanding can be found
lated variables together with bullying and different methodological in the article authored by Ettekal, Kochenderfer-Ladd, and Ladd
approach. Taking into account all these criteria, it seems that the (2015). Theoretical and empirical research on relational aggression is
meta-analyses conducted by Farrington and Tto (2009) would yield reviewed by Voulgaridou and Kokkinos (2015). Patchin and Hinduja
the most exact results. Even though the impact of the programs is limit- (2015) contribute to knowledge on research methodology and assess-
ed, these authors report a decrease in bullying perpetration of about ment of cyberbullying, a crucial issue also reported in the current
2023% and victimization of about 1720%. Taking into account the study. To sum up, the current Special Issue builds on the previous nd-
devastating consequences of bullying reported in the results of the cur- ings and set tendencies for future research on the topic.
rent review, it seems crucial to conduct these interventions which,
given these percentages, could stop this kind of violence for one out of
ve children involved in the phenomenon. Nevertheless, methodologies References1
and evaluations of these programs should be improved and it is
*Albdour, M., & Krouse, H.J. (2014). Bullying and victimization among African American
currently difcult to draw conclusions on overall effectiveness of these adolescents: A literature review. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing,
interventions (Ryan & Smith, 2009). 27, 6882.
All the review studies which analyzed research methodologies re- lvarez-Garca, D., Garca, T., & Nez, J.C. (2015). Predictors of school bullying perpetra-
tion in adolescence: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 23,
port that they are frequently decient with psychometric properties of 126136.
the instruments that could be improved when evaluating bullying *Antoniadou, N., & Kokkinos, C.M. (2015). A review of research on cyber-bullying in
(Vessey et al., 2014) and cyberbullying (Berne et al., 2013). This issue Greece. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 20, 185201.
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