Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Bullying permeates all grade levels in schools. Despite antibullying initiatives implemented in a Midwest school district, bullying continued to occur. One aspect of bullying that is not often examined is the perceptions of bystanders, especially at the middle school level. The purposes of this quantitative survey design study were to examine (a) the frequency and level of bullying by grade level, (b) the relationship between middle school bystanders' willingness to intervene and grade level, and (c) perceptions of bullying interventions and grade level. LatanÃ© and Darley's bystander effect theory was the theoretical framework for this study. Descriptive statistics and chi-square analysis were used to examine survey data from 548 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who reported being bullied or observed bullying at school. Descriptive statistics results were that the majority of students were bullied occasionally (6th grade 57%, 7th grade 63%, and 8th grade 57%), while a smaller group of students (6th grade 22%, 7th grade 20%, and 8th grade 25%) were bullied every day. Chi square results indicated there was no significant relationship between bystanders' willingness to intervene in bullying situations and their grade level. Furthermore, there was a significant relationship between students' perceptions regarding impact of intervening for Grades 6 and 8, but not for Grade 7. It was concluded that, within this particular group, bullying was occurring in unsupervised areas in middle school, and few students were reporting an intent to help a student being bullied, despite their perceptions that intervening would be effective. It is recommended that students receive bystander intervention training that may reduce bullying. This endeavor may contribute to positive social change by providing bystander students with the skills necessary to intervene in incidences of bullying to reduce bullying in schools.
Beasley, Elizabeth Walden, "Perceptions of Middle School Bystanders to Bullying Incidences" (2015). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 568.