Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Justice and Human Services

First Advisor

Grace A. Telesco

Second Advisor

James F. Nardozzi

Third Advisor

Chaswell A. Hanna

Abstract

Upon assuming the presidency of the Republic of Korea in 2013, Park Geun-hye announced her administration’s priority to address the country’s “Four Social Evils”—sexual violence, domestic violence, school bullying, and unsafe food products. As part of this initiative, the ROK national government urged police officers to implement anti-bullying campaigns and curb school violence. This study examined the effects of Stand By Me: Bullying Prevention and Bystander Empowerment, an anti-bullying presentation conducted by a ROK police officer for an audience of South Korean high school students in spring 2016. The study employed a nonequivalent groups design with a designated treatment group and comparison group, but was limited to a posttest survey only. The focus of the study was whether a police-administered bullying prevention presentation had an effect on Korean high school students’ attitudes toward bullying and their willingness to intervene to stop bullying, and was examined using independent-samples t tests and Mann-Whitney U tests. The relationship between moral approval of bullying and bystander intervention willingness was also examined, as well as the relationships between other key variables and bystander intervention willingness. These relationships were examined via regression analysis. The study yielded statistically significant findings indicating that students who were administered the Stand By Me presentation were less likely to support bullying and more likely to be willing to intervene in bullying incidents compared to students who did not participate in the presentation. Moral approval of bullying had only a minor impact on bystander intervention willingness, whereas perceived peer support, self-esteem, and informal social control had a greater influence on students’ inclination to intervene. Due to the limited scope of this project, it is recommended that future studies and evaluations conducted on Stand By Me and other anti-bullying programs in South Korea utilize more rigorous research designs that incorporate pretesting and random assignment. Nevertheless, given the paucity of empirical research on police anti-bullying initiatives in the ROK, one of the overarching goals of this study is to encourage further dialogue on preventing bullying, one of the endemic ‘social evils’ plaguing today’s youth, in South Korea and around the world, and the appropriate role of law enforcement in this arena.

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