Helping behavior among adolescent bystanders of cyberbullying : the role of impulsivity
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Learning and individual differences. - Washington, D.C.
, p. 61-67
University of Antwerp
Impulsivity has a significant impact on behavior during adolescence. Moreover, previous research has shown associations between impulsivity (or low self-control) and perpetration and victimization of cyberbullying. However, the influence of impulsivity on bystander behavior has not been investigated yet, although bystanders play an important role in bullying situations. The present study examined the relationship between impulsivity and helping behavior in bystanders of cyberbullying. To predict the likelihood of helping a victim when witnessing cyberbullying, we collected self-reported data from a representative sample of 2309 pupils, aged 9 to 17. The results suggested that more impulsive adolescents were less likely to help the cybervictim. An explanation for the findings may be that helping behavior in a cyberbullying context requires inhibitory abilities which are deficit in impulsive adolescents. These findings could be used to inform intervention strategies about which factors are associated with bystander behavior in cyberbullying and how to target these.