Macquarie University
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Bystanders' responses to witnessed incidents of cyberbullying: independent and interactive influences on intervention

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posted on 2022-03-29, 01:43 authored by Kimberley Allison
Individuals who witness cyberbullying have the potential to reduce and remedy its impacts, either by standing up to the bullies or supporting victims. However, bystanders often fail to intervane in these situations; researchers have encountered difficulties constructing theories that encompass the many factors implicated in the passivity of witnesses. This thesis comprises two parts : a literature review and an empirical paper. The literature review discusses existing theories and accounts of cyberbullying bystander inaction, highlighting the need for a combined model that integrates individual, situational, and socio-cognitive factors. The empirical paper presents a study in which 653 grade 7 and 9 students completed a questionnaire abut their experiences with various cyberbullying roles (perpetration, victimisation, witnessing and intervening) and their morals (moral standards, individual and collective moral disengagement). The results indicated that grade, gender, victimisation and witnessing experience were significant predictors of intervention. Additionally, perceptions of peer-group morality moderated the effects of individual morality on intervention. Together, the two parts suggest that researchers should consider interpersonal and interactive determinants of witnesses' reactions. Peer aggression, both traditional and online, is grounded within a social context which must be addresses in the exploration of bystander bahaviour.


Alternative Title

Witnesses' responses to cyberbullying.

Table of Contents

Cyber-bystanding in context : a review of the literature on witnesses' responses to cyberbullying -- Social cognitive influences on intervention in cyberbullying : the role of individual and collective moral variables.


Spine title: Witnesses' responses to cyberbullying. Bibliography: pages 72-83 Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Kay Bussey


Copyright Kimberley Allison 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (viii, 110 pages)

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