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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reviewing the Association between Early Attachment Style and Bystander Behavior in Instances of Bullying during Childhood and Adolescence


Although several studies have analyzed the correlation between early attachment style and the likelihood of becoming a bully or victim, little to no research has been conducted on a possible association between early attachment style and bystander behavior in children and adolescents. This is unfortunate because, though bystander intervention can help victims escape victimization, it rarely occurs. To determine whether there is a possible association between early attachment style and bystander behavior, this literature review analyzed research correlating early attachment with Moral Disengagement and Shame Management, both of which enable passivity. Analysis revealed that a plausible predictive relationship exists between passive bystander behavior and victim-blaming, and early attachment style. This literature review concludes with a discussion of limitations and suggestions for future research.

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