Promoting upstander behavior to address bullying in schools

Juliet Barnett, Kim W. Fisher, Natasha O’Connell, Kimberlee Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is growing national awareness of the negative and long-term consequences associated with bullying. The impact of childhood bullying can be substantial and include lowered self-esteem, heightened anxiety, greater levels of depression, fear, school refusal, isolation, and even suicide. While there is growing research on programs to address bullying, few interventions target the bystander, yet most that do are successful in decreasing bullying. Research suggests that targeting the bystander and giving them the tools and encouragement to intervene as “upstanders” should be an integral component of bullying interventions. This article provides practical, research-based steps for teachers to model and encourage upstander behavior, particularly with students as they approach middle school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalMiddle School Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • bullying
  • middle school
  • social emotional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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