UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version

Spring 4-14-2020

Document Type



Poster presentation, UCARE Research Symposium, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Spring 2020.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


• In a survey of college students, over 90% reported having witnessed a risky sexual event, while only 50% said they intervened (Witte et al., 2017).

• The classic bystander intervention model describes five steps to successful intervention: notice the event, interpret the event as an emergency that requires assistance, accept responsibility for intervening, know how to intervene, and implement the intervention (Jenkins & Nickerson, 2017).

• In contrast to successful intervention, little research has been done to examine the extent in which certain barriers prevent bystander intervention (Burn, 2009).

• In addition, previous research has shown that gender is a reliable predictor of bystander behaviors throughout each step of the bystander intervention model. Specifically, men are less likely to intervene than women in a bystander scenario, as women are more likely to assume the role of a defender (Jenkins & Nickerson, 2017).

• In support, McMahon (2010) found that women reported significantly higher positive bystander attitudes as compared to men in a sample of university athletes. This pattern of results was also found in women pledging sororities compared to men pledging fraternities (McMahon, 2010).

• Taken together, we hypothesize that increased barriers to bystander intervention will predict decreased bystander behavior, less positive attitudes toward bystander intervention, and diminished confidence in one’s ability to intervene.

• Further, we predict that these associations will be more pronounced in men than in women.

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Psychology Commons