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Violence Vict. 2007;22(6):735-53.

Perpetrators and targets of bullying at work: role stress and individual differences.

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Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway.


A workplace survey study (N = 2215, response rate 47%) revealed that about 16% of the sample may be categorized as either perpetrators (5.4%), provocative victims (2.1%), or as targets of bullying (8.3%). Targets of bullying, provocative victims, and bullies were compared with those 84% who do not report any involvement with respect to bullying at work, self-esteem, aggressive tendencies, prior experiences of bullying, or experiences of role stress. Perpetrators were found to have a higher level of aggression than did the comparison group and the targets. Provocative victims manifested a low level of self-esteem and social competency combined with a high level of aggressiveness. Targets of bullying revealed low levels of self-esteem and social competency. Targets, provocative victims, and perpetrators reported elevated levels of role stress in the form of unclear or conflicting demands and expectations around work tasks and daily work.

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