Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


School Psychology

First Adviser

Cole, Christine

Other advisers/committee members

Waasdorp, Tracy; Caskie, Grace; Liang, Chris


The presence of bullying in schools has been shown to have negative mental health outcomes for all those who are involved including the bully, victim, and bystanders. Bystanders make up the majority of those present in a bullying situation. Bystanders can reinforce, participate in, ignore, or stop bullying by standing up for the victim. Previous research has aimed to investigate what differentiates bystanders who stand up for the victim, the defenders, from other types of bystanders. Previous research has found that there are many factors that influence a bystanders’ motivation to intervene in a bullying situation including gender, sympathy, expectation for intervention by others, and prosocial behavior. However, previous research in this area has been exclusively conducted among non-Hispanic White students from suburban areas in the United States or international settings. The present study extended previous research by investigating predictors of a bystanders’ motivation to intervene in a bullying situation among predominately African American students in an urban school district in the United States. Results found that a significant positive relationship between sympathy, expectation for intervention, and motivation to intervene. Limitations and future directions are discussed.