Lyn Quine: 'The depressing statistics behind workplace bullying'

From a speech by the Professor of Health Psychology, given at the University of Kent

Share
Workplace bullying appears to occur in most countries. In the USA and Canada, it is called workplace harassment. In Norway, Sweden and Germany, it is called mobbing.

Workplace bullying appears to occur in most countries. In the USA and Canada, it is called workplace harassment. In Norway, Sweden and Germany, it is called mobbing. In Finland, it is called interpersonal conflict. Much of the early research was conducted in Nordic countries, where there is strong public awareness, government funding and anti-bullying legislation. In the UK, reports from trades unions in the 1990s first drew attention to the issue. These described the mental distress, physical illness and career damage suffered by victims.

A study of staff working in an NHS community trust showed that bullied staff were more likely than non-bullied staff to suffer clinical levels of depression (8 per cent versus 1 per cent) and clinical levels of anxiety (30 per cent versus 9 per cent). They also took more days off work for sickness (14.4 days versus 6.2). Forty-four per cent of bullied smokers reported an increase in their smoking in the previous year, and 20 per cent of drinkers reported an increase in their alcohol consumption.

Some people may be at risk of bullying through social, demographic or personal factors that increase their chances of experiencing bullying. Social psychologists have shown that being different in some way may cause individuals to be seen as not "one of us", which may lead to aggression against the perceived outsider. Male kindergarten teachers were more likely to be bullied. Our studies have found people from minority ethnic groups are more likely to experience it, and in female dominated NHS trusts men seem more likely to experience it.

Many researchers believe bullying is the product of a particular organisational culture where there are poorly organised working practices and helpless or disinterested management.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Wilbur, the pig who thinks he's a dog (Dom Joly)  

My hilarious pet pig Wilbur is more popular than I am — so I'll let him bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Amazon's new 'payment by the page' policy will just result in longer but likely worse literature

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'