Rules of the Culture and Personal Needs: Witnesses' Decision-Making Processes to Deal with Situations of Bullying in Middle School

Citation:

Diazgranados, S., Selman, R., & Feigenberg, L. (2012). Rules of the Culture and Personal Needs: Witnesses' Decision-Making Processes to Deal with Situations of Bullying in Middle School. Harvard Educational Review, 84(4), 445-470.

Abstract:

This article explores the decision-making processes by which early adolescents choose a strategy to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness situations of physical and relational bullying in their schools. Authors Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns, Robert L. Selman, and Luba Falk Feigenberg analyze data from twenty-three interviews conducted with eighth graders in four middle schools using a grounded theory approach and propose an emerging theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. Their framework includes a multilevel model that identifies nested sources of influence on students’ responses to bullying and a decision-making tree that hypothesizes different choice paths that student witnesses’ decision-making processes might follow in situations of bullying as predicted by the students’ positions along a set of “key social-relational indices.” Finally, the authors connect their findings with current debates in the field of moral decision making and discuss the implications for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.

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