Staying on top of the latest academic research on bullying is important to us. In my research I discovered a study that absolutely startled me.
Although successful bullying programs remain important accomplishments, Ttofi and Farrington (2011) found that few programs specifically target the behavior of bystanders (i.e., an individual who witnesses bullying). As such, prevention programs deemphasize a population that constitutes between 60% and 70% of primary or secondary school students (Glew, Fan, Katon, Rivara, & Kerntic, 2005; Rivers, Poteat, Noret, & Ashurst, 2009).
This program oversight is unfortunate because observational research has found that when bystanders intervene on behalf of the victim, they successfully abate victimization more than 50% of the time. (Craig, Pepler, & Atlas, 2000; O’Connell et al., 1999)
The remainder of the article talks about research they did on bystander behavior. Their conclusions were that bystanders have a crucial role in preventing bullying. They also concluded that it’s not enough to simply define what a bystander is. We need to encourage students to take a stand. (more…)