Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Articles Information
Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.1, No.2, May 2015, Pub. Date: Apr. 22, 2015
‘We Just Have to Learn to Deal with It’: Young Workers’ Experiences of Workplace Violence
Pages: 39-47 Views: 1380 Downloads: 1046
Authors
[01] Chris McVittie, Division of Psychology and Sociology, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.
[02] Karen Goodall, Division of Psychology and Sociology, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.
[03] Rahul Sambaraju, Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
[04] Ian Elliott, Division of Business, Enterprise and Management, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.
[05] Anna Trejnowska, Division of Psychology and Sociology, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.
Abstract
We report on two studies that examined how young people (aged 16 to 24 years) working in public-facing jobs report experiences of workplace violence from dealing with the public. In Study 1, 65% (n=227) of respondents (N=349) reported experiencing violence in the preceding year, with verbal abuse being significantly higher for call centre workers and assaults higher among public sector workers. Psychological symptoms following violence were higher among participants aged 18 years or over than younger workers. Study 2 identified five themes relevant to participants’ (N=20) experiences, namely (1) violence is part of the job; (2) front line employees are targets; (3) power favours the customer; (4) any customer can be violent, and (5) need for personal experience. These findings demonstrate the need for employers to address all aspects of their practices in order to address risks in the workplace and to promote the psychological well-being of their employees.
Keywords
Workplace Violence, Young Workers, Employment, Risk, Workplace Safety
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