Risk and protective factors at school: Reducing bullies and promoting positive bystanders’ behaviors in adolescence

Rafael Miranda, Xavier Oriol, Alberto Amutio

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Identifying protective factors present at schools located in neighborhoods with high structural violence is fundamental to help prevent the perpetuation of violence. Therefore, the aim of this study was to observe how some school micro-system variables, such as school environment and interpersonal relationships that adults establish with adolescents, may lead to bullying behaviors or, on the contrary, to positive bystander behavior in the bully-victim dynamic. The sample was composed of 5,774 adolescents from 71 schools located in violent neighborhoods in Lima (Peru). 31.9 per cent of the sample experienced verbal violence and the prevalence of cyberbullying was 24.6%. Boys were more prone to experience both types of bullying than girls, although no differences were seen in the probability of becoming aggressors during early and late adolescence. The protective model showed that a positive atmosphere based on a supportive environment with clear rules encouraged adults at school to show more support and to provide more orientation in bullying situations, thus promoting a positive bystander behavior between peers. Opposite results were observed in the risk model. Actions at the microsystem school level are discussed to enhance protective factors and reduce risk factors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StateIndexed - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Bullying
  • Bystanders
  • Cyberbullying
  • Protective factors
  • Risk factors


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