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Bystander Intervention in Bullying: Understanding, Measuring, and Changing

Fri, April 13, 12:15 to 1:45pm, Hilton, Floor: Second Floor, Conrad B


Bullying involves not only perpetrators and victims, but also the peers who are almost always present. These peer “bystanders” often remain passive or even join in to exacerbate the problem. Understanding the factors that are associated with bystanders’ attitudes and actions is important for prevention and intervention efforts. This presentation will highlight finding from a program of research examining the behavior of peers in bullying situations and the factors that predict the likelihood of being passive or actively defending (directly or indirectly) in bullying, with a focus on studies conducted with middle school and high school youth. The measurement and application of a classic five-step model of bystander intervention in bullying (see Figure 1) will be shared. Implications for practice, including the importance of shaping prosocial norms and explicitly teaching the 5-step bystander intervention model and offering multiple intervention options according to individual and situational variables, will be suggested.


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