February/March 2013 (vol. 09/5)

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Research Plus

Bullying meta-analyses

Exposure to workplace bullying has significant detrimental effects on job-related and health-related outcomes, but there is only a weak association with sickness absence. The first of two meta-analyses (54 cross-sectional studies; 77,721 individuals) found that persistent workplace bullying was strongly linked to post traumatic stress symptoms, depression, anxiety, somatisation and burnout, but had no effect on sleep. It was also linked to low job satisfaction, intention to leave the job, and low organisational commitment. It was weakly associated with increased absence, but not to performance. The second meta-analysis examined 13 longitudinal studies (62,916 individuals) mostly with oneto two-year follow-up. The impact of bullying persists over time and was significantly associated with mental health problems and weakly associated with absence at follow-up. Bullying at baseline was significantly associated with increased reported bullying at follow-up – which the authors describe as a ‘vicious circle’.


Work & Stress 2012; 26(4): 309–333. 


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2013 (vol. 09/5) pp41