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Women Health. 2004;40(4):1-23.

Perceived organizational tolerance for workplace harassment and distress and drinking over time [harassment and mental health].

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1
University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry, 1601 West Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. jrichman@psych.uic.edu

Abstract

Research has linked workplace harassment and abuse with distress and drinking. However, increasing societal attention to sexual harassment (SH) has been accompanied by pressures on work organizations to censure harassing behaviors. We address altered perceptions of the organizational tolerance (OT) for SH and generalized workplace abuse (GWA), changes in the prevalence and incidence of these experiences, and their impact on distress and drinking behaviors. A cohort of workers completed a mail survey at three points in time. Questionnaires assessed perceptions of OT for SH and GWA, experiences of SH and GWA, coping, and distress and drinking behaviors. Both sexes perceived that tolerance of SH and GWA has decreased over time. Changes in reported prevalence of these experiences differed by gender, and incidence for both genders decreased more strongly than prevalence. The linkages between SH/GWA and distress and drinking changed over time, but in different ways for women and men. SH and GWA still have deleterious consequences, and replications of this research and greater efforts at prevention are needed.

PMID:
15911507
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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