Literature Review: Behavioural Responses of Student Bystanders in Situations of Bullying

Literature Review: Behavioural Responses of Student Bystanders in Situations of Bullying

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Bullying, a form of aggression, can be experienced in several forms: physical, verbal, social or cyber. All bullying is composed of three specific concepts—causing their victims harm, possessing greater power than their victims and repetition (Oh & Hazler, 2009). Most often it is just the bully and a victim taken into consideration yet this fails to identify a key influence: bystanders. It is their impact on bullying that creates serious problems thus understanding the bystander’s role is vital in trying to decrease the occurrence of bullying (Oh & Hazler, 2009).
One generally noted concept in all of the articles was the taxonomy used for bystanders. The authors utilized the four categorizations of bystanders, established by a previous researcher, in order to study predictors and behaviours of their actions. Bystanders can be grouped as assistants, reinforcers, outsiders or defenders (Oh & Hazler, 2009; Thornberg, 2007; Trach, Hymel, Waterhouse & Neale, 2010). Those who actively support bullying by maintaining the victim for the bully are called “assistants” (Oh & Hazler, 2009). Less directly involved, are supporters of bullies who provide positive feedback, establishing their role as a “reinforcer” (Oh & Hazler, 2009). The largest groups, “outsiders”, are those who chose to remove themselves from the situation and remain neutral (Oh & Hazler, 2009). Conversely, “defenders” are the bystanders who intervene using prosocial behaviours, meaning that they voluntarily act in ways that benefit others (Oh & Hazler, 2009;Thornberg, 2007). Statistics suggest bystanders use 54% of their time to reinforce the bully by passively watching, 21% to actively encourage the bully and only 25% to intervene and defend the bully (Trach, Hymel, Wat...


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...r than solely on predicting bystander behaviour. Therefore, the unexplored area of positive and active prosocial actions of bystanders becomes an area of knowledge very much worth pursuing.




















References
Oh, I., & Hazler, R. J. (2009). Contributions of personal and situational factors to bystanders' reactions to school bullying. School Psychology International, 30(3), 291-310. doi:10.1177/0143034309106499
Thornberg, R. (2007). A classmate in distress: Schoolchildren as bystanders and their reasons for how they act. Social Psychology of Education, 10(1), 5-28. doi:10.1007/s11218-006-9009-4
Trach, J., Hymel, S., Waterhouse, T., & Neale, K. (2010). Bystander responses to school bullying: A cross-sectional investigation of grade and sex differences. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 25(1), 114-130. doi:10.1177/0829573509357553

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Literature Review: Behavioural Responses of Student Bystanders in Situations of Bullying

- Bullying, a form of aggression, can be experienced in several forms: physical, verbal, social or cyber. All bullying is composed of three specific concepts—causing their victims harm, possessing greater power than their victims and repetition (Oh & Hazler, 2009). Most often it is just the bully and a victim taken into consideration yet this fails to identify a key influence: bystanders. It is their impact on bullying that creates serious problems thus understanding the bystander’s role is vital in trying to decrease the occurrence of bullying (Oh & Hazler, 2009)....   [tags: Violence ]

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