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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Young Bystander to Upstander: Predicting and Changing Young People’s Assertive Bystander Intentions  Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
13 March 2014
Venue:
Psychology Department Room 3095, Building 44 (Shackleton) Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

Unfortunately, bullying is a common experience for many of our children in schools today, whether as victims, bullies or as bystanders. In recent years, developmental psychologists and anti-bullying charities have turned their attention to the role of bystanders or onlookers in supporting and stopping bullying. In this talk we will present two studies from our programme of research exploring young people’s bystander behaviour and intentions in bullying contexts.

 

Unfortunately, bullying is a common experience for many of our children in schools today, whether as victims, bullies or as bystanders. In recent years, developmental psychologists and anti-bullying charities have turned their attention to the role of bystanders or onlookers in supporting and stopping bullying. In this talk we will present two studies from our programme of research exploring young people's bystander behaviour and intentions in bullying contexts.

In Study 1 we drew on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (ToPB) to identify variables that could predict assertive bystander intentions. This is important for building a profile of assertive interveners: what is distinctive about these young people? The ToPB predictors explored here included: attitude towards the behaviour, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and self-efficacy. Adolescents (N=108, 12-13 years) were exposed to one of two inter-group name-calling scenarios and reported their bystander intentions. This study identified a number of characteristics of assertive bystanders, as well as identifying moderating features of the  social context, that have implications for school-based interventions.

Study 2 built on these findings. In this study we designed, implemented and evaluated a school-based programme (that incorporated Study 1findings) that aimed to encourage assertive bystander intervention. Participants (N = 121, 12-13 years) took part in a one day role-play experimental condition, or a control condition.  A sub-sample of participants (N= 60) also completed an innovative measure of assertive bystander behaviour in a cyberbullying context. In the presentation we will discuss our findings, as well as practical and theoretical implications for anti-bullying interventions and the distinction between bystander intentions and behaviours. 

Speaker information

Dr Lindsey Cameron and Dr Nicola Abbott, University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. Dr Cameron's area of research is social developmental psychology. She is interested in how children become ‘social beings’: how do children develop the social knowledge and skills that we have as adults take for granted? Specifically, she is interested in how inter-group processes develop throughout childhood. Dr Abbott's area of research is the likelihood of adolescents to intervene in racist incidences and potential mediators in bystander intervention. Particular interest in pro-social behaviour conducted by bystanders either during a racist scenario or after the event. Public expressions of prejudice and stereotypes in children, such as making stereotypical remarks, racist comments or racist jokes

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