Workplace bullying, perceived job stressors, and psychological distress: Gender and race differences in the stress process

Document Type


Publication Date

February 2017


A large body of empirical research documents the adverse mental health consequences of workplace bullying. However, less is known about gender and race differences in the processes that link workplace bullying and poor mental health. In the current study, we use structural equation modeling of survey data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study (N = 2292) and draw on stress process theory to examine coworker support as a buffering mechanism against workplace bullying, and gender and race differences in the relationships between bullying and psychological distress. The results of the analysis indicate that coworker support serves as a protective buffer against workplace bullying, although the buffering effect is relatively small. We also find that the effects of workplace bullying more heavily impact women and persons of color. Specifically, women and African American individuals in our sample were less protected from the buffering mechanism of co-worker social support.

Journal Title

Social Science Research

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)