The Role of Psychological Stress Reactions in the Longitudinal Relation Between Workplace Bullying and Turnover

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Abstract

Objectives:

To investigate the association between workplace bullying and change of job/unemployment, and to investigate whether psychological stress reactions constitute a potential pathway linking workplace bullying and change of job/unemployment.

Methods:

We used questionnaire data on workplace bullying and psychological stress reactions and register data on change of job/unemployment. We applied a multiple pathway approach to estimate the proportion of the association between workplace bullying and subsequent change of job/unemployment that was potentially mediated by psychological stress reactions.

Results:

Workplace bullying was associated with risk of change of job (odds ratio [OR] = 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06–1.72; 24% potentially mediated by psychological stress reactions) and unemployment (OR = 4.90; 95% CI: 3.18–7.55; 19% potentially mediated by psychological stress reactions).

Conclusion:

Workplace bullying has important consequences for labor market outcomes. Psychological stress reactions may play a vital role in this process.

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