Psychological Predictors of Bystanders’ Intention to Help Cyberbullying Victims Among College Students: An Application of Theory of Planned Behavior

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Abstract

The goal of the present study was to evaluate the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as an explanation for bystanders’ intention to help cyberbullying victims among college students. Participants completed an online survey in which their intention, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control toward helping cyberbullying victims were assessed. In addition to these traditional TPB variables, empathy toward cyberbullying victims and anticipated regret from not helping victims were included in the model. Results showed that empathy and anticipated regret significantly predicted intention to help cyberbullying victims over and above the traditional TPB variables. Results also showed that gender altered how traditional TPB variables, empathy, and anticipated regret predict bystander’s intention to help cyberbullying victims: Empathy and anticipated regret were most robust predictors for males and females, respectively. These results suggest that the TPB is a useful theoretical framework for understanding bystanders’ intention to help cyberbullying victims. Implications for developing effective prevention and intervention strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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