Associations between past bullying experiences and psychosocial and academic functioning among college students

Melissa K. Holt, Jennifer Greif Green, Gerald Reid, Amanda DiMeo, Dorothy L. Espelage, Erika D. Felix, Michael J. Furlong, V. Paul Poteat, Jill D. Sharkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study examined whether childhood bullying victimization was associated with psychosocial and academic functioning at college. Participants: The sample consisted of 413 first-year students from a large northeastern university. Methods: Students completed an online survey in February 2012 that included items assessing past bullying involvement, current psychosocial and academic functioning, and victimization experiences since arriving at college. Results: Regression analyses indicated that reports of past bullying and other peer victimization were associated with lower mental health functioning and perceptions of physical and mental health, but were not associated with perceptions of social life at college, overall college experience, or academic performance. Conclusions: Childhood bullying victimization is associated with poorer mental and physical health among first-year college students. Colleges should consider assessing histories of bullying victimization, along with other past victimization exposures, in their service provision to students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-560
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bullying
  • College
  • Counseling
  • Mental health


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