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Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement and their Associations with Indirect Bullying, and Pro-Aggressive Bystander Behavior
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9233-3862
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, The Division of Statistics and Machine Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6590-3847
University of Padua, Italy.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Early Adolescence, ISSN 0272-4316, E-ISSN 1552-5449Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study examined the links between seven specific mechanisms of moral disengagement and indirect bullying, direct bullying, and pro-aggressive bystander behavior. In addition, the moderating role of gender on these associations was examined. Participants were 317 Swedish students in Grades 4 to 8 (𝑋⎯⎯⎯age=12.6X¯age=12.6, SD = 1.35; 62% girls). Multivariate multiple regression analyses showed that indirect bullying was predicted by gender and victim attribution. Direct bullying was predicted by moral justification, and for girls, by victim attribution. Pro-aggressive bystander behavior was predicted by diffusion of responsibility, victim attribution, gender, and age. That is, boys and younger students were more prone to take the aggressor’s side compared with girls and older students. Furthermore, the relation between pro-aggressive bystander behavior and distortion of consequences appeared stronger in boys than in girls. These results highlight the relative importance of specific moral disengagement mechanisms and may have implications for interventions targeting bullying.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019.
Keywords [en]
bullying, aggression, moral development, middle school
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-159663DOI: 10.1177/0272431618824745Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85060626909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-159663DiVA, id: diva2:1343075
Available from: 2019-08-15 Created: 2019-08-15 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Thornberg, RobertWänström, Linda

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Bjärehed, MarleneThornberg, RobertWänström, Linda
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Journal of Early Adolescence
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

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