Interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace: the interface and impact of general incivility and sexual harassment

J Appl Psychol. 2005 May;90(3):483-96. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.3.483.


This article examined the relationships and outcomes of behaviors falling at the interface of general and sexual forms of interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace. Data were collected with surveys of two different female populations (Ns = 833 and 1,425) working within a large public-sector organization. Findings revealed that general incivility and sexual harassment were related constructs, with gender harassment bridging the two. Moreover, these behaviors tended to co-occur in organizations, and employee well-being declined with the addition of each type of mistreatment to the workplace experience. This behavior type (or behavior combination) effect remained significant even after controlling for behavior frequency. The findings are interpreted from perspectives on sexual aggression, social power, and multiple victimization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Data Collection
  • Dominance-Subordination*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Sexual Harassment / psychology*
  • Workplace / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Workplace / psychology*