U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Gratitude for Bystander Action Varies by Peer Intervention and Social Norms

NCJ Number
School Psychology Review Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Hannah Nguyena; Karin S. Frey; Huiyu Lin; Adaurennaya C. Onyewuenyi
Date Published

This article explores how face and honor endorsements predict gratitude among victims of peer-instigated aggression following three different types of bystander action; it reports on the research methodology and outcomes, and discusses research implications.


Gratitude is associated with increased social integration, which may counter the loneliness stemming from repeated peer victimization. The gratitude youth feel after different types of bystander action may depend on which behaviors are most congruent with personal beliefs. Face and honor cultures provide social norms for expectations and interpretations of behavior, including how to act during and after interpersonal conflict. In the current study, 264 ethnically diverse adolescents (African, European, Mexican-American, and Indigenous) from the Pacific Northwest described past instances when they experienced an act of peer-instigated aggression and subsequent bystander action. The authors examined how face and honor endorsements predicted victims’ gratitude following three different types of bystander action (calm, avenge, and reconcile). Face endorsement predicted higher gratitude for being calmed, whereas honor endorsement predicted higher gratitude for being avenged. Bystander efforts to reconcile conflict elicited the most gratitude but were not related to social norm endorsement. The authors’ findings shed light on the association between social norm endorsement and victimized youths’ gratitude for their intervening peers’ bystander actions. (Published Abstract Provided)