Early adolescents' willingness to intervene: What roles do attributions, affect, coping, and self-reported victimization play?

Milena Batanova, Dorothy L. Espelage, Mrinalini A. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Limited research has sought to understand early adolescents' willingness to intervene in peer victimization as a function of their own responding to being victimized. The present study examined whether early adolescents' attributions, affect, and coping responses to a victimization vignette were related to their willingness to intervene, and whether self-reported victimization moderated the aforementioned associations. Participants were 653 5th- to 8th-grade students (50.4% girls, 58.5% Caucasian, 34.5% Hispanic) who completed a self-report survey that included a vignette asking students to imagine that they were victimized in school. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted separately for boys and girls. Although attributions and affect showed no significant associations with students' willingness to intervene, seeking social support coping was associated with greater willingness to intervene for both boys and girls, and problem-focused coping was associated with willingness to intervene for girls only. Unexpectedly, self-reported victimization was associated positively with both boys' and girls' willingness to intervene. Findings also revealed two unexpected two-way interactions between peer victimization and boys' characterological self-blame and girls' wishful thinking coping. Overall, study findings highlight the need for future research and anti-bullying programs to address how victimization could either motivate or discourage a student's willingness to intervene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-293
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Attributions
  • Coping
  • Early adolescence
  • Victimization
  • Willingness to intervene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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