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  1. L. E. Langlois1,
  2. H. S. Shannon1,
  3. L. Griffith1,
  4. T. Haines1,
  5. L. M. Cortina2,
  6. S. Geldart3
  1. 1McMaster University
  2. 2University of Michigan
  3. 3Wilfrid Laurier University

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    This research examines the influence of incivility and other work-related factors on psychological distress and health.


    A nation-wide cross-sectional study of workers at a large Canadian organisation was completed as the second phase of a two-part project. Phase I involved focus groups to identify work-related health concerns (eg, lack of respect for others, burnout). In phase II, employees were randomly sampled from 12 workplaces stratified by job type. All sampled workers (n = 1968) were sent anonymous questionnaires that had previously been pilot tested among a small group of workers from the organisation. To maximise response, the Dillman method was used. After the third mailing, the response rate of completed questionnaires was 49.5% (n = 953). We used multivariable regression to examine the amount of variance explained by incivility after adjusting for demographic and psychosocial job factors for several work-related outcomes. Incivility was measured using the Workplace Incivility Scale (Cortina et al. 2001).


    The respondents were 60% male, with a mean age of 47.2 years (SD 8.3). Employees primarily worked full-time (75%), on day shifts (73%), and many interacted with customers (54%). Most workers had been with the organisation for some time, with a mean duration of employment of 17.9 years (SD 10.4). Incivility was common in the sample, with 84% of workers experiencing incivility to at least some degree. Demographic and job characteristics accounted for only modest amounts of the variation in the psychological and health outcomes, with adjusted R2 values ranging from 0.0 to 8.3%. The addition of supervisor and co-worker incivility to the regression model improved the explained variance, with increases in adjusted R2 values as high as 28%. Even after controlling for demographic variables, job characteristics, job demand, job control and work social support, incivility increased the explanatory power of the regression model by up to 11%. Of …

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