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J Interpers Violence. 2017 Jan;32(1):23-48. Epub 2015 May 6.

Bystanders' Behavior in Cyberbullying Episodes: Active and Passive Patterns in the Context of Personal-Socio-Emotional Factors.

Author information

1
The Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel doritol@openu.ac.il.
2
The Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel.
3
Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Abstract

The present study explored bystanders' behavior in cyberbullying (CB) episodes among children and youth, focusing on active and passive behavior patterns. The study examined prevalence and characteristics of bystanders' behavior following CB episodes, and their active-passive intervention patterns in relation to personal (age, gender) and socio-emotional (self-efficacy, social support, sense of loneliness) factors. Of the 1,094 participants (ages 9-18), 497 (46.4%) reported they were bystanders to CB episodes. Of the bystanders, 55.4% were identified as having a passive pattern of behavior-they did not provide any help to cyber-victims, whereas 44.6% were identified as having an active pattern-helping the cyber-victim. In line with the "bystanders' effect," only 35.6% of the bystanders offered direct help to cyber-victims after witnessing CB. When studying the personal-socio-emotional differences between active and passive bystanders, it was found that the "active bystanders" are more often girls, older, have more social support from significant others, and have lower levels of emotional loneliness than bystanders in the passive group. Differences within the passive and active patterns were studied as well. A logistic regression revealed the unique contribution of each predictor to the probability of being an active bystander. It was found that gender and age predicted the probability of being an active bystander: Girls are more likely than boys, and older bystanders are more likely than younger ones, to choose an active pattern and provide help to cyber-victims. In addition, implications for CB prevention and intervention involvement programs to encourage bystanders to help cyber-victims are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

active-passive patterns; bystanders behavior; cyber-victims; cyberbullying; socio-emotional factors

PMID:
25948644
DOI:
10.1177/0886260515585531
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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