Introduction: Research dedicated to identification of precursors to cases of aggravated bullying in schools has led to enhanced knowledge of risk factors for both victimization and perpetration. However, characteristics among those who are more likely to intervene in such situations are less understood. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between demographic characteristics, school climate and psychosocial factors, and willingness to intervene in a bullying situation among middle and high school students in Georgia.
Methods: We computed analyses using cross-sectional data from the Georgia Student Health Survey II (GSHS 2006) administered to public school students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 (n=175,311). We used logistic regression analyses to determine the demographic, school climate and psychosocial factors associated with a willingness to intervene in a bullying situation.
Results: Students who were white and who were girls were most likely to report willingness to intervene in bullying situations. Several school-climate factors, such as feeling safe at school, liking school, feeling successful at school and perceiving clear rules at school, were associated with willingness to intervene, while youth who reported binge drinking were less willing to intervene.
Conclusion: These findings, while preliminary, indicate that girls, students who are white, and students who experience a relatively positive school climate and adaptive psychosocial factors are more likely to report that they would intervene in bullying situations. These findings may guide how bullying is addressed in schools and underscore the importance of safe school climates. [West J Emerg Med. 2013;14(4):324–328.]