Bystander responses to cyberbullying: The role of perceived severity, publicity, anonymity, type of cyberbullying, and victim response

Macaulay, Peter, R. J., Betts, Lucy R., Stiller, James and Kellezi, Blerina (2022) Bystander responses to cyberbullying: The role of perceived severity, publicity, anonymity, type of cyberbullying, and victim response. Computers in Human Behavior, 131. ISSN 0747-5632

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Abstract

Cyberbullying often occurs in group-based situations; therefore, how young people respond when they witness
cyberbullying is important in the process of combating the issue. This study examined how young people
perceive the severity of cyberbullying incidents and how they respond as a bystander according to different
factors associated with cyberbullying (i.e., publicity, anonymity, type, and victim response). The final sample
was 990 (545 female, 403 male, 42 non-disclosed) students aged between 11 and 20 years (M age = 13.16, SD age =
2.14) from two schools and one college in England. Participants responded to 24 hypothetical vignettes which
were manipulated to measure publicity, anonymity, type of cyberbullying, and victim response. Participants
responded to items assessing a. perceived severity, and b. bystander responses. The bystander responses examined were: ignore the incident, encourage the bully, seek adult help, seek friend help, provide emotional support
to the victim, and challenge the bully. Perceived severity was higher in public scenarios, when the bully was
anonymous, and when the victim was upset. Victim response was the most influential factor across all response
strategies on how young people react to cyberbullying, followed by the publicity of the incident, the anonymity
of the bully, and to a limited extent, the type of cyberbullying. The results suggest that bystanders do respond
differently to cyberbullying according to the publicity, anonymity, type of cyberbullying, and victim response.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Peter J.R. Macaulay, Lucy R. Betts, James Stiller, Blerina Kellezi. (2022) Bystander responses to cyberbullying: The role of perceived severity, publicity, anonymity, type of cyberbullying, and victim response, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 131, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107238.This is an open access article under the CC BY licence.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cyberbullying, Bystanders, Severity, Publicity ,Anonymity, Type of cyberbullying, Victim upset
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Psychology
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Depositing User: James Stiller
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2022 14:53
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 14:53
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6343

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