Bullying victimization and the social and emotional maladjustment of bystanders: A propensity score analysis

Jilynn M. Werth, Amanda B. Nickerson, Ariel M. Aloe, Susan M. Swearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated how bystanders, who have and have not been bullied, perceive their social and emotional maladjustment depending on the form of bullying (physical or verbal) they witness. Using propensity score matching, equivalent groups of 270 victimized and 270 non-victimized bystander groups were created based on middle school students' responses on the Bully Survey-Student Version (BYS-S; Swearer, 2001). Victimized bystanders experienced higher social maladjustment than non-victimized bystanders. Path analysis results suggest that social and emotional maladjustment as a bystander is related not only to social-emotional maladjustment as victim, but to gender and the form of bullying witnessed. The way in which bystanders are influenced by their personal victimization may be a critical factor in predicting, understanding, and increasing active bystander intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bullying
  • Bystander
  • Forms of victimization
  • Maladjustment
  • Victim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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