Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Your abusive boss may not be good for your marriage, according to new study

Date:
December 1, 2011
Source:
Baylor University
Summary:
Having an abusive boss not only causes problems at work but can lead to strained relationships at home, according to a new study. The study found that stress and tension caused by an abusive boss have an impact on the employee's partner, which affects the marital relationship and subsequently the employee's entire family.

Having an abusive boss not only causes problems at work but can lead to strained relationships at home, according to a Baylor University study published online in journal, Personnel Psychology. The study found that stress and tension caused by an abusive boss have an impact on the employee's partner, which affects the marital relationship and subsequently the employee's entire family.

The study also found that more children at home meant greater family satisfaction for the employee, and the longer the partner's relationship, the less impact the abusive boss had on the family.

"These findings have important implications for organizations and their managers. The evidence highlights the need for organizations to send an unequivocal message to those in supervisory positions that these hostile and harmful behaviors will not be tolerated," said Dawn Carlson, Ph.D., study author, professor of management and H. R. Gibson Chair of Organizational Development at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, Waco.

A supervisor's abuse may include tantrums, rudeness, public criticism and inconsiderate action.

"It may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members," said Merideth Ferguson, PH.D., study co-author and assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor.

Organizations should encourage subordinates to seek support through their organization's employee assistance program or other resources (e.g., counseling, stress management) so that the employee can identify tactics or mechanisms for buffering the effect of abuse on the family, according to the study.

The study included 280 full-time employees and their partners. Fifty-seven percent of the employees were male with an average of five years in their current job; 75 percent had children living with them. The average age for the employee and the partner was 36 years. The average length of their relationship was 10 years. Of the respondents, 46 percent supervised other employees in the workplace, 47 percent worked in a public organization, 40 percent worked in a private organization, nine percent worked for a non-profit organization and five percent were self-employed. Of the partner group, 43 percent were male with 78 percent of these individuals employed.

Workers filled out an online survey. When their portion of the survey was complete, their partner completed a separate survey that was linked back to the workers'. The partner entered a coordinating identification number to complete his/her portion of the survey. The combined responses from the initial contact and the partner constituted one complete response in the study database.

Questions in the employee survey included; "How often does your supervisor use the following behaviors with you?" with example items being "Tells me my thoughts or feelings are stupid," "Expresses anger at me when he/she is mad for another reason," "Puts me down in front of others," and "Tells me I'm incompetent."

Questions in the partner survey included; "During the past month, how often did you . . ." feel irritated or resentful about things your (husband/wife/partner) did or didn't do" and "feel tense from fighting, arguing or disagreeing with your (husband/wife/partner)."

"Employers must take steps to prevent or stop the abuse and also to provide opportunities for subordinates to effectively manage the fallout of abuse and keep it from affecting their families. Abusive supervision is a workplace reality and this research expands our understanding of how this stressor plays out in the employee's life beyond the workplace," Carlson said.

The research was conducted with support from the Texas A & M Mays Business School Mini-Grant Program.

Other co-authors of the study are Pamela L. Perrewe of Florida State University and Dwayne Whitten of Texas A & M University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dawn S. Carlson, Merideth Ferguson, Pamela L. Perrewι, Dwayne Whitten. the Fallout from Abusive Supervision: An Examination of Subordinates and Their Partners. Personnel Psychology, 2011; 64 (4): 937 DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01232.x

Cite This Page:

Baylor University. "Your abusive boss may not be good for your marriage, according to new study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111128132712.htm>.
Baylor University. (2011, December 1). Your abusive boss may not be good for your marriage, according to new study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111128132712.htm
Baylor University. "Your abusive boss may not be good for your marriage, according to new study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111128132712.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins