Most N.H. High Schoolers Intervene When They See Sexual Aggression

Nov 27, 2015

Data from the University of New Hampshire shows that almost all high school students witness acts of dating and sexual aggression in high school, and that most bystanders do something about it.

Psychology professor, Katie Edwards says this is one of the first studies in the country to look at bystander behavior among high schoolers. In a survey, she and other researchers found almost all New Hampshire high schoolers witness acts of sexual and dating aggression, and almost two thirds of them intervene – most often, girls.

"Often times we tend to focus on what kids are doing wrong," Edwards says, "and I think we found that kids in our state are doing a lot to help their classmates, friends and peers."

Edwards and her colleagues then held focus groups, to understand what prevents high schoolers from intervening when they can.

The research will be used to improve high school level bystander education.