This presentation addresses the topic of personality among victims of workplace bullying, drawing upon information collected through both empirical and clinical evidence. Bullying at work has been described as a phenomenon with a multi-factorial aetiology, including, at the individual level, personality characteristics of both victims and perpetrators. According to Zapf and Einarsen (2003), a comprehensive model of bullying should include individual factors and their contribution to the onset, escalation and consequences of the bullying process. A number of studies reported that victim characteristics may play a role in the bullying process. Victims are described as anxious and neurotic, inadequate in social skills and self-esteem, and overly conscientious and overcommitted. Further studies investigated on the existence of a typical victim personality. Matthiesen and Einarsen (2001), by examining MMPI-2 profiles, have found three different personality profiles, suggesting that, although personality may actually play a role, there is no evidence of a general “victim personality”. A similar conclusion was drawn by Glasø at al. (2007). By using the Big Five Model, these authors have found that one-third of the victims tended to be significantly more anxious and neurotic and less agreeable, conscientious and extravert than non-victims, but the major part of victims turned out to be similar to non-victims. As opposite to this view, Leymann and Gustafsson (1996) argued that “premorbid personality” does not play any role in the onset of bullying situations. These authors claim that the victimisation process has the potential of permanently changing victim personality. The use of self-reported measures of personality may lead to bias such as the voluntary effort to alter reporting of individual characteristic. The projective technique for personality evaluation that we adopted in this study may have the advantage of limiting such bias. Study aim. The aim of the present study is to evaluate personal characteristics of victims of workplace bullying by means of the semi-structured projective technique Wartegg Drawing Completion Test, and to investigate their relationship with exposure to bullying, as measured by a self-report questionnaire (CDL). Sample. We analysed a sample of 198 subjects seeking health care for bullying-related complaints, at the Service for Stress and Harassment of the “Clinica del Lavoro Luigi Devoto” in Milan. The sample was evenly composed of men and women and mostly of subjects in the age group 35-54 (75.3%). Education was medium-high (54.5% secondary school, 16.2% university degree). As for occupation type, white-collars (52.5%) and workers employed in large companies (61.6%) accounted for the major part of the sample. Instruments. Subjects were administered an ad hoc protocol for harassment-related disorder aimed at the evaluation of a potential bullying condition and the assessment of related health outcomes. The Wartegg test is a drawing projective technique, made up by eight panels, laid out in two rows, each containing a different graphic stimulus-sign, tapping distinct psychological dimensions. The subject is invited to complete, with a spontaneous drawing, each panel graphic-sign which has the potential of revealing profound personality areas, thus providing information about core personal characteristics. Tests have been analysed according to the Crisi’s quantitative scoring system (Crisi, 1998). The Evocative character (EC), the Affective quality (AQ) and the Formal quality (FQ) of the drawings were considered. EC refers to the symbolic ability to perceive and process stimuli, indicating subjective skills to adapt and interact with the environment. AQ refers to the general affective and emotional disposition of the subject, indicating the quality of interpersonal relationships. FQ refers to cognitive integrity, indicating adequacy in reality evaluation. The CDL questionnaire is a self-report instrument, made up of 30 items, developed with the aim to collect information about type, number and frequency of negative actions. Results. Of the sample subjects, 42.4% reported medium scores in Evocative Character, suggesting adequate skills in situation adjustment; 43.4% showed rigidity in adaptation and lack of flexibility, and 14.1% extreme sensitiveness to the environment. As far as Affective Quality is concerned, 31.8% of the victims reported emotional stability, 57.6% a general depressive state (introversion and withdraw from interpersonal relationships), whereas 10.6% were characterized by excessive adaptation to the environment and overly obligingness in interpersonal relationships. As for Formal Quality, 15.7% displayed a good intellectual control on emotional-affective manifestations, 17.2% an excessive intellectual control and perfectionism, 53% an interference of emotional-affective disturbances on cognitive performance (attention and concentration), while the remaining 14.1% showed cognitive disturbances. As regards the relationship between personality and bullying victimization, victims who resulted as more agreeable reported more negative actions according to the CDL questionnaire. However, no other differences were observed for self-reported exposure to bullying in relation to personal characteristics. Preliminary conclusions. These results indicate that in our sample of victims of bullying, there are cases scoring outside the “normal” range across three psychological dimensions of the Wartegg test. However, the absence of a control group of non-victims prevents us from drawing definite conclusions about whether victims and non-victims of workplace bullying differ in regards to personality characteristics. Comparative analyses using scores obtained from an ongoing administration of the Wartegg test in a control group, will provide better insight on this topic.
|Titolo:||Victims of workplace bullying : considerations about personal characteristics using the Wartegg Drawing Completion Test|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/44 - Medicina del Lavoro|
|Citazione:||Victims of workplace bullying : considerations about personal characteristics using the Wartegg Drawing Completion Test / S. Punzi, M.G. Cassitto, G. Castellini, P.M. Conway, G. Costa. ((Intervento presentato al 6. convegno International Conference on workplace bullying tenutosi a Montreal nel 2008.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|