Hazing Research

The University of Maine is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in research on the prevalence, causes and prevention of hazing on college campuses and other settings.

Hazing is any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. The three components that define hazing are:

Elizabeth Allan portrait
Professor of higher education Elizabeth Allan is a leading expert on hazing and hazing prevention on college campuses and in other organizations.
  • It occurs in a group context
  • It involves humiliating, degrading or endangering behavior
  • It happens regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate

UMaine researchers Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden led the groundbreaking 2008 National Study of Student Hazing, which filled major gaps in the knowledge and understanding of hazing on college campuses. Among the report’s findings:

  • More than half (55%) of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing
  • Nearly half (47%) of students have experienced hazing prior to coming to college
  • Alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep-deprivation, and sex acts are hazing practices common across student groups

Since 2008, Allan and colleagues have continued to build a research base to illuminate the nature and extent of hazing and inform effective hazing prevention. She is founder and principal of StopHazing, as well as the research-to-practice initiative Hazing Prevention Consortium, which has worked with more than 20 higher education institutions nationwide to assess their campus climate for hazing and build capacity for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating data-informed prevention strategies.

Allan is also an in-demand expert for policymakers and the media. She has testified at congressional hearings and been interviewed or cited by news outlets such as the Associated Press, the Chronicle of Higher Education,The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, PBS, CNN, CBS and more.

In 2021, Allan received the UMaine Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award.

Read more about UMaine’s work to understand and prevent hazing below.

Hazing Research News Releases