Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 120–135 | Cite as

Negative Bystander Behavior in Bullying Dynamics: Assessing the Impact of Social Capital Deprivation and Anti-social Capital

  • Caroline B. R. Evans
  • Paul R. Smokowski
Original Article


Bystanders witness bullying, but are not directly involved as a bully or victim; however, they often engage in negative bystander behavior. This study examines how social capital deprivation and anti-social capital are associated with the likelihood of engaging in negative bystander behavior in a sample (N = 5752) of racially/ethnically diverse rural youth. Data were collected using an online, youth self-report; the current study uses cross sectional data. Following multiple imputation, a binary logistic regression with robust standard errors was run. Results partially supported the hypothesis and indicated that social capital deprivation in the form of peer pressure and verbal victimization and anti-social capital in the form of delinquent friends, bullying perpetration, verbal perpetration, and physical perpetration were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in negative bystander behavior. Findings highlight the importance of establishing sources of positive social support for disenfranchised youth.


Bullying perpetration Aggression Bystander Adolescence Social capital deprivation 



Funding for this research was provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (5 U01 CE001948-03).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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