Relationship Between Changes in Workplace Bullying Status and the Reporting of Personality Characteristics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: To examine whether a shift in work-related bullying status, from being non-bullied to being bullied or vice versa, was associated with changes in reporting of personality characteristics.

METHODS: Data on bullying and personality (neuroticism, extraversion, and sense of coherence) were collected in three waves approximately 2 years apart (N = 4947). Using a within-subjects design, personality change scores that followed altered bullying status were evaluated with one-sample t tests. Sensitivity analyses targeted depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Shifts from non-bullied to frequently bullied were associated with increased neuroticism or decreased sense of coherence manageability scores. Shifts from bullied to non-bullied were associated with decreasing neuroticism and increasing extraversion scores, or increasing sense of coherence meaningfulness and comprehensibility scores. Excluding depressive cases had minor effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying seems to some extent to affect personality scale scores, which thus seem sensitive to environmental and social circumstances.


  • Roger Persson
  • Annie Høgh
  • Matias Brødsgaard Grynderup
  • Morten Vejs Willert
  • Maria Gullander
  • Åse Marie Hansen
  • Henrik Albert Kolstad
  • Ole Mors
  • Eva Gemzøe Mikkelsen
  • Ann Suhl Kristensen
  • Linda Kaerlev
  • Reiner Rugulies
  • Jens Peter Ellekilde Bonde
External organisations
  • National Research Centre for the Working Environment
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Aarhus University Hospital
  • Bispebjerg Hospital
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Odense University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
  • Applied Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-10
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep
Publication categoryResearch