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PLoS One. 2015 Aug 25;10(8):e0135225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135225. eCollection 2015.

Workplace Bullying and Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis on Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Data.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; Skils, Leiden, The Netherlands.
2
Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.
3
Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A growing body of research has confirmed that workplace bullying is a source of distress and poor mental health. Here we summarize the cross-sectional and longitudinal literature on these associations.

METHODS:

Systematic review and meta-analyses on the relation between workplace bullying and mental health.

RESULTS:

The cross-sectional data (65 effect sizes, N = 115.783) showed positive associations between workplace bullying and symptoms of depression (r = .28, 95% CI = .23-.34), anxiety (r = .34, 95% CI = .29-.40) and stress-related psychological complaints (r = .37, 95% CI = .30-.44). Pooling the literature that investigated longitudinal relationships (26 effect sizes, N = 54.450) showed that workplace bullying was related to mental health complaints over time (r = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.13-0.21). Interestingly, baseline mental health problems were associated with subsequent exposure to workplace bullying (r = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.10-0.27; 11 effect sizes, N = 27.028).

LIMITATIONS:

All data were self-reported, raising the possibility of reporting- and response set bias.

CONCLUSIONS:

Workplace bullying is consistently, and in a bi-directional manner, associated with reduced mental health. This may call for intervention strategies against bullying at work.

PMID:
26305785
PMCID:
PMC4549296
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0135225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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