Sexual Harassment and Bullying at Work

Prevalence, Health, and Social Outcomes
  • Åse Marie HansenEmail author
  • Anne Helene Garde
  • Roger Persson
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook Series in Occupational Health Sciences book series (HDBSOHS)


In this chapter, research on health and social effects attributed to two forms of potentially harmful maltreatment at work: sexual harassment and workplace bullying are summarized. The text in the chapter covers literature on how sexual harassment and workplace bullying may act as determinants for poor health (e.g., depression, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes) and negative social outcomes (e.g., long-term sickness absence (LTSA), job turnover, unemployment, drop-out from a trade, early retirement/disability retirement). The chapter will also bring in recent research on the impact of workplace bullying on the non-bullied colleagues.

Further, in the chapter, possible pathways that describe how sexual harassment and bullying at work may influence health and/or social outcomes are described. Presumably, exposure to sexual harassment and/or bullying at work (or similar misbehaviors) may cause stress reactions, triggered by the unpredictability and lack of control that follows these exposures. Feelings of control and predictability are two outcomes that results from the individual’s appraisal processes and may as such explain how workplace bullying “gets under the skin.” The chapter briefly presents theoretical models that may explain how discrimination behavior “gets under the skin.”


Workplace bullying Sexual harassment Health Long-term sickness absence Individual level Workplace level 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Åse Marie Hansen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anne Helene Garde
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roger Persson
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.National Research Centre for the Working EnvironmentCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  4. 4.Division of Occupational and Environmental MedicineLund UniversityLundSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Morten Wahrendorf
    • 1
  • Jian Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Sociology, Centre of Health and Society (CHS)University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Fielding School of Public Health, School of NursingUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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