When Guardians Become Capable: An Analysis of Social Bias and Situational Context in Bystander Intervention
Publication or External Link
Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey in the 1990s indicate that bystanders were present in two-thirds of violent victimizations; however, a bystander who is present may not necessarily intervene. The present study posits that there are two major types of factors that may influence the likelihood of intervention across incidents: factors related to the severity of the crime, and factors that reveal social bias related to race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and crime type. Using NCVS data from 2012-2018, the present study finds statistically significant associations between presence of a firearm, a victim being female, the crime being sexual assault or rape, and the crime being intimate partner violence, and the outcome of bystander intervention. Results add to the social psychology and sociology literature on helping behavior and inform policy and practice regarding the need for programs that target bystander intervention in violent victimization.