School Cyberbullies Could Become Workplace Victims – Study
Monday, 11th August 2014 at 10:33 am
School-aged cyberbullies could become victims themselves in the workplace, while those who are bullied at school are also at risk of being bullied as they enter the workplace, a new report has revealed.
The 12-year longitudinal study from 2002, which tracked children from primary school to the workforce, was conducted by the Victorian arm of the International Youth Development Study and examined the relationship between school and workplace bullying and highlighted the trends facing young people and their future, with bullying rates in the workforce almost reaching 7 per cent.
The study was recently presented at the National Centre Against Bullying Conference by Australian Catholic University Professor Sheryl Hemphill.
According to the study, cyberbullying was one of the main predictors of being bullied in the workplace, along with family conflict.
Prof Hemphill said the rates of reported bullying at work were “very concerning” and called for a greater focus on prevention and management of bullying during school years.
“One way to prevent workplace bullying is to ensure young people have good skills in emotional control before they leave school,” she said.
“There are a number of evidence-based programs available to schools to teach these skills to their students.”
She also called for assistance for families which had conflict in their relationships with their children.
“The way that families interact at home is really important. Assisting families to resolve conflict peacefully and to communicate effectively with each other is likely to reduce the chance the young person will be bullied in the workplace,” she said.
The study of more than 500 young Victorians found that 6.5 per cent (almost 1 in 15) were victims of workplace bullying in 2012, up from 4.3 per cent in 2010.
Prof Hemphill said the increased rates of workplace bullying had to be addressed.
“We assume that once kids leave school, bullying just disappears, but this suggests that as young people transition into the workplace, bullying is often continuing,” she said.
National Centre Against Bullying Manager Sandra Craig said workplaces could prevent bullying by creating a safer and more inclusive workplace.
Simple tips to prevent bullying in the workplace include:
- Is there recognition that workers’ wellbeing is the responsibility of the boss?
- Is there a definition of bullying and cyber bullying that everyone understands?
- Are there processes to handle complaints?
- Employers should lead by example and model the behavior they expect
- Select the right worker for the job, making sure the square peg is in the square hole