Cyber-bystanding in context: A review of the literature on witnesses' responses to cyberbullying

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

As a form of peer victimisation, cyberbullying can be conceptualised as a group phenomenon; research on cyberbullying should therefore consider all participant roles, rather than focusing solely on perpetrators and victims. Bystanders are of particular interest in both traditional and cyberbullying as they have the potential to amend the situation by intervening, yet most witnesses remain passive. This paper reviews the literature on cyberbullying bystander behaviour, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative studies to identify factors that influence witnesses' responses. It further compares the ability of two theoretical frameworks (the bystander effect and social cognitive theory) to account for and integrate the diverse findings of these studies. Although the bystander effect is the dominant paradigm for explaining bystander inaction in many contexts, social cognitive theory may be better able to capture the complex and contextually dependent nature of cyberbullying situations. This paper concludes by discussing the implications of this approach for future research, and for potential interventions to improve witnesses' responses.

LanguageEnglish
Pages183-194
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Fingerprint

Bullying
witness
cognitive theory
Bystander Effect
victimization
Aptitude
Crime Victims
paradigm
ability
literature
Group
Research

Keywords

  • Cyberbullying
  • Cyber-bystander
  • Bystander intervention
  • Bystander effect
  • Social cognitive theory

Cite this

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abstract = "As a form of peer victimisation, cyberbullying can be conceptualised as a group phenomenon; research on cyberbullying should therefore consider all participant roles, rather than focusing solely on perpetrators and victims. Bystanders are of particular interest in both traditional and cyberbullying as they have the potential to amend the situation by intervening, yet most witnesses remain passive. This paper reviews the literature on cyberbullying bystander behaviour, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative studies to identify factors that influence witnesses' responses. It further compares the ability of two theoretical frameworks (the bystander effect and social cognitive theory) to account for and integrate the diverse findings of these studies. Although the bystander effect is the dominant paradigm for explaining bystander inaction in many contexts, social cognitive theory may be better able to capture the complex and contextually dependent nature of cyberbullying situations. This paper concludes by discussing the implications of this approach for future research, and for potential interventions to improve witnesses' responses.",
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Cyber-bystanding in context : A review of the literature on witnesses' responses to cyberbullying. / Allison, Kimberley R.; Bussey, Kay.

In: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 65, 01.06.2016, p. 183-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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