Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1997;23(6):450-457    pdf


Psychosocial correlates of harassment, threats and fear of violence in the workplace

by Cole LL, Grubb PL, Sauter SL, Swanson NG, Lawless P

Objectives The purpose of this study was to investigate work climate factors and structural job aspects as predictors of workplace violence, with particular attention to the relative influence of both sets of factors.
Methods Telephone survey data collected by a large midwestern insurance company were analyzed. Interviewers asked 598 full-time workers about their work climate, structural job aspects, and subject and workplace demographics, all of which were used as predictor variables in regression analyses. The participants were also asked about incidents of threats, harassment, physical attacks, and fear of becoming a victim of workplace violence, all of which were used as outcome measures.
Results Separate logistic regressions were carried out for each of the outcome measures. The study identified a variety of factors which appear to place workers at risk of nonfatal occupational violence. Work climate variables, such as co-worker support and work group harmony, were predictive of threats, harassment, and fear of becoming a victim of violence. Structural aspects of the job, such as work schedule, were also significant in predicting threats and fear of becoming a victim of violence, but they were not predictive of harassment.
Conclusion This is the first study which suggests that both work climate and structural aspects of work may be important in promoting workplace violence. This finding suggests that intervention strategies should consider organizational and climate issues in addition to basic security measures.

The following article refers to this text: 2001;27(6):361-364