Bullying victimization due to racial, ethnic, citizenship and/or religious status: a systematic review

Maria Sapouna*, Leyla De Amicis, Loris Vezzali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


A resurgent climate of nationalism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia in many parts of the world has drawn attention to the risk of bullying victimization among racial, ethnic and/or religious minority youth. However, no attempt has yet been made to synthesize the literature on this topic to derive better understanding and guide future prevention and intervention efforts. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on individual, school, family, and community -level factors and outcomes associated with racist bullying victimization. Systematic searches of EBSCOhost, Scopus, ASSIA and Web of Science databases identified 73 articles that included quantitative and qualitative analyses on this topic. Overall, this review found that negative stereotypes and discrimination operating in school and community contexts put racial/ethnic minority, immigrant, and refugee youth at an increased risk of racist bullying victimization. The review also found that racist bullying victimization is associated with a wide range of negative outcomes including poor mental health, lower academic engagement, and an increased risk of involvement in delinquent behaviours, especially among older pupils. The review identified several gaps in the research, including the lack of adequate theorization and the infrequent consideration of potential mediators and moderators. Finally, the review outlined future directions, such as the need to study how intergroup processes influence racist bullying victimization.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages36
JournalAdolescent Research Review
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022


  • bullying
  • race
  • ethnicity
  • religion
  • bias
  • racism


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