June 5, 2009

14 percent of workers in Spain bullied

Fourteen percent of the respondents to a survey in Spain say they have suffered psychological abuse or bullying at the workplace, researchers said.

David Gonzalez of the High Court of Justice of Madrid and Jose Luis Grana of the Complutense University defined workplace bullying as a process of systematic and repeated aggression by a person or group towards a workmate, subordinate or superior.

Gonzalez and Grana used data from nearly 3,000 valid responses received from the Negative Acts Questionnaire -- a specific tool used to measure workplace abuse.

The study, published in the journal Psicothema, also found that results also provide evidence that women are most frequently on the receiving end of workplace harassment, which coincides with the results of other studies carried out on the issue.

However, the findings contradict previous results that indicated that workers under the age of 30 were the most vulnerable to harassment. Gonzalez and Grana found those age 45 and older are more likely to be the victims of abuse.

The study also found that 9 percent of workplace bullying was carried out by subordinates, but 47 percent were bullied by bosses.