Bullying and defending behavior: The role of explicit and implicit moral cognition
2016 (English)In: Journal of School Psychology, ISSN 0022-4405, E-ISSN 1873-3506, Vol. 53, 75-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Research on bullying has highlighted the role of morality in explaining the different behavior of students during bullying episodes. However, the research has been limited to the analysis of explicit measures of moral characteristics and moral reasoning, whereas implicit measures have yet to be fully considered. To overcome this limitation, this study investigated the relationship between bullying and defending, on one hand, and both explicit (moral disengagement, self-importance of moral values) and implicit (immediate affect toward moral stimuli [IAMS]) moral components, on the other hand. Young adolescents (N=279, mean age=11 years, 9 months, 44.4% girls) completed a series of self-report scales and individually performed a computer task investigating the IAMS. Two hierarchical regressions (bootstrapping method) were performed. Results showed that moral disengagement was associated with bullying and defending behavior at high levels of IAMS, however not when IAMS was low. In contrast, self-importance of moral values was not significantly associated to the two behaviors when IAMS was high whereas both associations were significant at low levels of IAMS. These results significantly expand previous knowledge about the role of morality in bullying and defending behavior. In particular, they highlight the role of the interaction between explicit and implicit moral dimensions in predicting bullying and defending behaviors.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Pergamon Press, 2016. Vol. 53, 75-90 p.
bullying, defender behavior, defending, bystander, aggression, prosocial behavior, moral cognition, moral disengagement, moral values
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132015DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2016.09.005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132015DiVA: diva2:1037237