Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Maureen Allwood

Committee Members

Phillip Atiba Goff

Emily Haney-Caron

Chitra Raghavan

Brett Stoudt

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


intimate partner violence, bystander intervention, helping behavior, dating violence, race, culpability


In recent years, bystander intervention programs that focus on addressing violence have notably become more popular and prevalent on college campuses. Bystander intervention programs serve to help college students identify and intervene in emergency situations like intimate partner violence. Despite advances in the bystander intervention literature, there is a dearth of research that has examined bystander intentions to intervene in situations of intimate partner violence among youth who have witnessed violence between peers. This study examined bystander intentions to intervene among young adults who witnessed peer male-to-female physical intimate partner violence and whether intentions to intervene varied depending on perpetrator race. Specifically, the study examined White undergraduates’ (n=147) responses to vignettes depicting peer intimate partner violence perpetrated by either a Black man or a White man in a same-race or interracial straight relationship. The study used a 2x2x2 (bystander sex (male/female) x perpetrator race (Black/White) x victim race (Black/White)) between-subjects factorial design to examine main effects and interaction effects of bystander sex and perpetrator and victim race on bystander intentions to intervene. Differences in perceived perpetrator and victim culpability were examined across conditions (e.g., race configurations), and intentions to intervene were examined in relation to perceived perpetrator culpability and victim culpability. Although race did not emerge as a significant variable in the study, there are a number of caveats and related findings to be considered that can help to inform bystander intervention models.