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Health consequences of workplace bullying: experiences from the perspective of employees in the public service sector
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
Division of Social Science, Department of Public Health, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
2006 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 109-119Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study was to explore the perceived health consequences of workplace bullying. Open interviews were conducted with 22 informants; 20 bully victims and two persons working with bullying prevention. Data was assessed and analysed simultaneously in line with grounded theory methodology. A conceptual model was grounded in data, describing experiences of deteriorating psychological and physical health following bullying and efforts of returning to a “normal” life. The core category, “remaining marked for life”, illuminates the manner in which bullying was perceived as a psychic trauma or a traumatic life event causing the bullied person to be marked forever. The model includes five additional categories: “feeling guilt, shame and diminishing self-esteem”, “developing symptoms and reactions”, “getting limited space of action”, “working through the course of events” and “trying to obtain redress”. Bullying included the spreading of rumours and repeated insults aimed at changing the image of the victim and resulting in feelings of guilt, shame and diminishing self-esteem. Physical and psychosomatic symptoms gradually emerge and medical treatment and sick listing follow. The longer the bullying continues, the more limited the possibility to change the situation and the victim has a more limited space of action. Returning to a “normal” life was possible, but presupposed that the victim had worked through of the course of events. The bullied person also tried to obtain redress, such as through monetary compensation or professional confirmation. Despite this, bullying left an internal scar: the bully victim was marked for life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Järfälla: CoAction Publishing, 2006. Vol. 1, no 2, p. 109-119
Keywords [en]
Workplace, Adult bullying, Grounded theory, Health, Self-esteem
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-516DOI: 10.1080/17482620600555664Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-41549097908Local ID: 2082/857OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-516DiVA, id: diva2:237695
Available from: 2007-02-14 Created: 2007-02-14 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Hallberg, Lillemor R.-M.

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  • apa
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