Posts Tagged ‘health’


2017 WBI U.S. Survey: Health Impact on Bullied Targets

Friday, July 7th, 2017

2017 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey
Health Impact on Targets


40% of targets are believed to suffer adverse health consequences from bullying

The Workplace Bullying Institute commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct the 2017 national scientific U.S. survey across two days in late April. The stratified random sample of 1,008 individuals represented all adult Americans. [Zogby methodology and sample details here.] It was WBI’s fourth national survey.

We used the definition of workplace bullying that matches perfectly the definition codified in the Healthy Workplace Bill. Bullying is repeated mistreatment but also “abusive conduct.” We asked American survey respondents to consider only the most serious forms of bullying.

The power of the workplace bullying movement is derived principally from the impact on the health of targeted individuals. Bullying is the dominant psychosocial stressor in the work environment of targeted workers. That stressor triggers the human stress response. In turn, with prolonged exposure to frequent incidents, targets risk the onset of stress-related diseases. In other words, bullying is an occupational health hazard

This question queries the American public about whether health harm from bullying manifested. [N = 479; no experience respondents deleted.]

Wording of the Target Health Question: Was the health of the targeted person adversely affected by the mistreatment?

The split between respondents (targets and witnesses only) who were certain bullying had created health harm was 40%:60% with the latter being those who could not be certain.

Several factors could account for the 60% of uncertain respondents. Targets rarely publicly share their health problems with colleagues. Personal shame suppresses an outpouring. Also targets can endure bullying for long periods of time without awareness that the source of the ill health is their workplace with an attacking bullying in it. That is, the causal links take time to be recognized by targets themselves. Target-respondents could have been part of the 60% of doubters. See Figure 4 below.

Witnesses, too, rarely get into conversations about medical maladies with targets. They, too, may be unwilling or unable to perceive the causal factors which contribute to their friends’ ill health.

[See the WBI extensive survey of bullied targets (a non-scientific sample) of the effects of bullying on targets’ health.]

Gary Namie, PhD
WBI Research Director

Download the pdf version of these Target Health Impact findings.

View findings related to other questions asked in the 2017 Survey.

Download the complete report of the 2017 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey.

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »



Workplace bullying invades the family of the targeted workers

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Impact on Family

Displacement, Withdrawal, Anxiety & Despondency

The most obvious and direct impact is displacement of the target’s anger and shame about being bullied at work onto the family at home. This is akin to the coming home and “kicking the dog.” When anger can’t be leveled against the source of frustration and humiliation, the bully at work, especially when the bully is a boss, often the only outlet is outside work. The difficulty of confronting-stopping a boss is traced to the historical uphill battle to cross the “power gradient.” Telling a boss to go to hell brings certain retaliation. It’s part of our hierarchical world.

By the way, displacement could occur on the way home. Pity other drivers on the commute home or wait staff at restaurants at lunchtime who might be in harm’s way. Nevertheless, most workers exposed to abusive supervision tend to bring it home. Violence at work begets violence at home.

Much more common is emotional withdrawal. Targets are overwhelmed by emotional abuse and exhausted at work. It takes all energy they can muster just to survive the 8 to 10 hours and commute to home. The stress strips away their appetite. So, they come home, skip dinner, and retire to bed seeking protection that sleep might provide. Sadly, sleep is disrupted by the distress caused by bullying. Solid REM sleep is rarely enjoyed. Sleep deficits make the targeted family member a non-participant, especially weekends. Traditions and family routines get postponed or abandoned completely. Everyone’s schedules are changed to accommodate the wounded worker in the family. This builds resentment. But targets who do not seek counseling or have their bullying situations reversed are trapped in a sleepless withdrawal loop.

Bullied targets also bring home anxiety. This is a normal reaction to the personalized stressors that bullying poses — domination, intimidation and humiliation. Even for individuals who have never experienced abuse (33% of workplace bullying targets), bullying fosters anxiety, the forewarning of distress. Distress, in turn, causes many stress-related health problems for targets. The point is that the anxiety is seen and felt by all family members exposed directly to it.

The inability to stop the bullying by the targeted parent creates a sense of despondency. The unhelpful reactions of coworkers further worsens the feeling. Thus, coming home is the message that mother or father or lover or wife or husband, once an integrated adult, is falling apart, suddenly powerless.

The coupling of anxiety and despondency is a toxic stew that affects the mood at home. Prolonged exposure renders both adults and children vulnerable to long-term effects from situations over which no one at home can control.

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Posted in Bullying & Health, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »



NY Times: Health before money — quitting the NFL

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Quitting the N.F.L.
For John Moffitt, the Money Wasn’t Worth It

By Ken Belson, New York Times, Nov. 18, 2013

John Moffitt chugged mugs of black coffee and talked almost giddily about how, the week before, he called John Elway, the head of football operations for the Denver Broncos, to tell him he was quitting the National Football League, leaving behind the money and the fame, but also the constant pain and the danger.

In parts of three seasons as a guard with the Seattle Seahawks and the Broncos, Moffitt, 27, blew out his knee, had elbow surgery and hurt his shoulders. Sleep apnea left him exhausted. Floaters cross his vision from all the hits to the head he absorbed in his nearly 20 years of playing football.

“I don’t want to risk health for money,” said Moffitt, who walked away from about $1 million in salary, various benefits for retirees who play at least three seasons and quite possibly a trip to the Super Bowl with the 9-1 Broncos. “I’m happy, and I don’t need the N.F.L.”

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Stress and your health statistics graphic

Monday, August 27th, 2012

A great graphic gift from Sarah Wenger

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Health harm from joblessness: Does anybody care?

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Finally, read about the health consequences of joblessness, the human side of a “down economy” in response to the heartlessness of politicians.


Worklessness and health – what do we know about the causal

For an easy download of this document, go here.

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Silly Headline: Recessions May Be Good for Your Health

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Counterintuitive? You bet, but … U. of Michigan researcher Jose Tapia Granados analyzed correlations between economic indicators and personal health indices from years prior to, during, and after the Great Depression (1920-1940). The GD was good for health; economic expansion periods were not.

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