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Ind Health. 2015;53(2):160-70. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2014-0195. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Take it or leave: a five-year prospective study of workplace bullying and indicators of expulsion in working life.

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Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway.


Workplace bullying is often held as a precursor of expulsion in working life, but the怀claim builds on sparse empirical groundwork. In the present study, bullying is investigated as an antecedent to indicators of expulsion, be it from the workplace (change of employer) or from working life itself (disability benefit recipiency and unemployment), using a nationally representative sample (n=1,613), a five-year time-lag as well as two separate measures of workplace bullying. In line with the hypotheses, logistic regression analyses revealed that both exposure to bullying behaviors and self-labeled bullying are significantly associated with change of employer (OR=1.77 and 2.42, respectively) and disability benefit recipiency (OR=2.81 and 2.95, respectively). Moreover, exposure to bullying behaviors was found to be significantly related to unemployment five years on (OR=4.6). For the self-labeling measure of bullying, this tendency only held true at the 0.1 significance level (OR=3.69, p=0.098). Together, the present results indicate that targets of bullying are at a greater risk of expulsion, both from the workplace and from working life itself, thus representing strong incentives to combat bullying both from the perspective of the individual, the organization and society at large.

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