Workplace Violence and Bullying at Work

Workplace Violence and Bullying at Work Overview


Studies have confirmed that a relationship between workplace bullying and damaged health exists. A study in Finland found that targets of bullying were likely to suffer from insomnia, melancholy, nervous symptoms, lack of concentration socio-phobia, and apathy.

In a Norwegian study, depression, aggression and anxiety were found to strongly relate to bullying. In a study in Sweden by Heinz Leymann, one of the leading researchers in the field of adult bullying, he found that biggest difference between those who had experienced bullying and those who had not were cognitive effects, such as concentration problems, and psychosomatic symptoms, such as nausea.

In Hoel and Cooper’s research in the UK they find the same connection regarding health. Compared with the general population, those who were experiencing bullying had higher levels of physical and ill health. Noteworthy is that those who were previously bullied also had high levels of physical and ill health, which may indicate the effects of bullying persist long after the experience. (Rayner, et al., 2002).

The health of women may be more negatively affected by bullying than that of men. An Austrian study confirms this, with women experiencing more psychosomatic complaints and anxiety than men. Another study by Hoel and Cooper in the UK also confirms that there is a stronger relationship between mental ill health and bullying in women than in men.

This may be because women in general report more health complaints than men. They are better at expressing their complaints are also willing to voice them. On the other hand, men may have a higher threshold for health complaints.

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