David Cash was a college student who found himself in the women's restroom of the Primadonna in Nevada. He witnessed his friend, Jeremy Strohmeyer raping and killing a 7-year-old girl. Cash did not take any action in trying to prevent this heinous crime. There are many elements to consider when bystanders neglect to take action. Research examining bystander apathy in critical situations is lacking, yet the number of violent crimes witnessed by others where intervention is not offered continues to escalate. Bullying often occurs in the presence of others. Bystander apathy is believed to play a passive role in most cases of bullying. This study investigated the psychological symptom patterns of intervening and non-intervening bystanders in bullying events. It was hypothesized that there would be a significant difference in the SLC-90-R profiles between intervening and non-intervening bystanders. It was further hypothesized that gender would significantly interact with the bystander response to witnessing bullying. Data were collected from undergraduate participants at the University of Central Florida through The Psychology Department's Psychological Research Participant System (aka, SONA). Psychological Symptoms were evaluated using the Symptom-Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). Data was obtained from 135 undergraduate participants. The sample consisted of 42 males and 93 females between 18 to 58 years of age. The participants were categorized by intervening and non-intervening bystanders. A two-way between subjects MANOVA was used to assess the influence of gender and intervening and non-intervening bystanders on the nine SLC-90-R symptom domains. No significant main effects or interaction was observed. However, a review of the univariate analyses revealed a significant gender x intervening interaction on the paranoid ideation subscale, F(1, 131) = 4.823, p = .03. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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Fouty, H. Edward
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Apathy; Bystander; Bystander effect; Psychological symptoms; Psychology
UCF Daytona Beach
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Smith, Alexandria, "Bystander Apathy: An Investigation of Intervening Versus Non-Intervening Bystanders in Witnessing to Bullying" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 601.