Introduction There are very few studies focusing on the relationship between bullying at work and victim personality and only two studies have investigated MMPI-2 profiles. Gandolfo (1995) examined MMPI-2 profiles of workers with work-harassment complaints in the United States. He found that the highest scales were 1, 2 and 3 (Hs, D, Hy), which is characteristic of somatization of psychological distress and depression. He also found a high elevation of scale 6 (Pa) suggesting that perceived mistreatment on the job probably accounts for being oversensitive, suspicious, angry and restful. Matthiesen and Einarsen (2001), in a Norwegian sample, found an elevated personality profile with the most pronounced elevations in scales 1, 2 and 3 and no significant gender differences. When further analyses were performed, they found that 32% of the victims had extremely elevated profiles with scales 1, 2, 3 (Hs, D, Hy) and 6, 7, 8 (Pa, Pt, Sc) particularly pronounced. Objectives The aim of this study is to analyse psychological consequences of bullying by studying MMPI profiles of victims. Method Subjects were selected among the patients examined for a suspected harassment-related disorder, at the Italian Medical Centre for Occupational Stress and Harassment (CDL). At CDL, an ad hoc protocol for harassment-related disorders was administered to the patients; it includes a medical examination, occupational history collection, psychiatric and psychological interviews and a battery of psychological tests, including MMPI. The aim of the examinations is to obtain a profile of the social-emotional balance, the personality, and behavioural disorders and to establish the compatibility between the clinical picture and harassment. A sample of 112 subjects was randomly selected among patients with recognised harassment related disorders. The sample is composed of 59 women (53%) and 53 men (47%); for 80.4% of the sample the age range is 35-54; the patients received a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder in 83,9% of cases and of symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 7,1% of cases. Frequency analyses was performed on MMPI profiles using the statistic package SPSS 11.0. The total sample profile was calculated and patients’ profile with Pa and Sc scales beyond threshold (t=70) was calculated separately. In this selected sample scales 6 and 8 were further investigated. Results Results show profile elevations, very similar to those reported in other studies. In particular scales 1, 2 and 3 (Hs, D, Hy) show the higher elevation (with a mean respectively of t=79,4; t=81,8 and t=79,7). Also scales 6, 7 and 8 (Pa, Pt, Sc) have values near threshold score (t=70). No difference was found between women and men profiles. Since clinical experience and previous studies have shown that some victims have particularly high profiles and high elevation in scales Pa and Sc, profile of subjects with scale Pa and Sc >70 (30% of the total sample) was calculated separately. This selected sample showed a higher profile with 8 scales in 10 reporting values above the threshold. For these patients a further elaboration was performed to define which items of scales Pa and Sc contributed to the elevation of the scores and which items regarding positive symptoms of paranoia or schizophrenia were satisfied. None of these patients had positive answers suggesting paranoid or psychotic syndrome. The elevation of profiles is indicative of serious psychological disorders in patients victims of bullying; the 2-3-1 configuration is indicative of psychosomatic and depressive troubles. The group of patients with Pa and Sc >70 shows very high profiles but no diagnosis of paranoia or schizophrenia. This group of patients shows hypersensitivity, suspiciousness, susceptibility, social isolation, loss of interest for relationship and activities, probably as a reaction to frequent and enduring job mistreatment situations. This study, mainly descriptive, will be followed by analysis of the correlations between MMPI profiles and other significant variables, such as frequency, duration and multiformity of negative acts, in order to compare results with previous studies. References Gandolfo R. (1995) “MMPI-2 profiles of worker’s compensation claimants who present with complaints of harassment” Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(5): 711-715. Matthiesen S. B. and Einarsen (2001) “MMPI-2 configurations among victims of bullying at work” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 10(4):467-484.
|Titolo:||Victims of bullying at work: description of MMPI profiles|
PUNZI, SILVIA (Primo)
CAMPANINI, PAOLO MARIA (Secondo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Citazione:||Victims of bullying at work: description of MMPI profiles / S. Punzi, P. Campanini, E. Carissimi, R. Gilioli, M.G. Cassitto. ((Intervento presentato al 5. convegno International conference on bullying and harassment in the workplace "the way forward" tenutosi a Dublin nel 2006.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|