TH-P01-045 - The role of psychological stress reactions in the relation between workplace bullying and turnover

Bullying and harassment
Poster Presentation
3 hours 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Conflict in organizations
Bullying and harassment
The role of psychological stress reactions in the relation between workplace bullying and turnover
K. Nabe-Nielsen 1,*, M. B. Grynderup 1, P. M. Conway 2, T. Clausen 3, J. P. Bonde 4, A. H. Garde 1 3, A. Hogh 2, L. Kaerlev 5 6, E. Török 1, Å. M. Hansen 1 3
1Department of Public Health, 2Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, 3The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, 4Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg University Hospital, Copenhagen, 5Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, 6Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
Content: Purpose
The contribution of perceived stress, burnout, and disturbed sleep in the process of employees leaving their job when being exposed to workplace bullying has not been investigated previously. Therefore, the present study addresses the role of these psychological stress reactions in the relation between exposure to workplace bullying and turnover.
We used data from a total of 4489 participants. Questionnaire information on bullying, perceived stress, burnout and disturbed sleep was linked with register information on turnover during the succeeding year. Turnover was operationalized as “job change” and “unemployment”, respectively.
Bullying increased the odds of both job change (OR=1.36; 95% CI: 1.07-1.72) and unemployment (OR=4.88; 95% CI: 3.03-7.86). The total proportion mediated by perceived stress, burnout, and disturbed sleep was 24% for job change and 19% for unemployment.
The major limitation is that bullying and the assumed mediators were measured at the same time making the temporal relation between them uncertain. Thus, the pathway through these assumed mediators may to some degree be due to their potential bidirectional relationship. 
Research/Practical Implications
Apart from the crucial task of reducing workplace bullying itself, alleviating long-term psychological stress reactions should be of main concern in rehabilitation efforts and when preparing former targets of workplace bullying for engaging in a new job.
This is one of the very few studies that investigate the effect of bullying on actual change of job and unemployment and also quantify the influence of psychological stress-reactions in the process leading to turnover. 


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