On standby? A comparison of online and offline witnesses to bullying and their bystander behaviour

Quirk, Roslynn & Campbell, Marilyn A. (2015) On standby? A comparison of online and offline witnesses to bullying and their bystander behaviour. Educational Psychology, 35(4), pp. 430-448.

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Given their ubiquitous presence as witnesses to school-yard bullying, the role of the ‘bystander’ has been studied extensively. The prevalence and behaviour of bystanders to cyberbullying, however, is less understood. In an anonymous, school-based questionnaire, 716 secondary school students from South-East Queensland reported whether they had witnessed traditional and/or cyberbullying, and how they responded to each type. Overlap in bystander roles between online and offline environments was examined, as was their relationship to age and gender. Students who witnessed traditional bullying were more likely to have witnessed cyberbullying. Bystanders’ behaviour was sometimes similar in both contexts of traditional and cyberbullying, mainly if they were outsiders but half of the 256 students who reported witnessing both traditional and cyberbullying, acted in different roles across the two environments. The implications of the findings are discussed in the context of previous research on cyberbullying and traditional-bystanders. Future research should further explore the role of bystanders online, including examining whether known predictors of traditional-bystander behaviour similarly predict cyber-bystander behaviour.

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ID Code: 79942
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: participant roles, cyberbullying, traditional bullying, bystanders
DOI: 10.1080/01443410.2014.893556
ISSN: 1469-5820
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published
and is available in Educational Psychology, 06 March 2014,
Deposited On: 13 Jan 2015 00:19
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 14:09

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