Tuesday 14 August 2018 1:34 AM UTC
Toronto Aug 14: Children could be unintended victims of workplace incivility, say scientists who found that women who encounter rude coworkers are more likely to engage in stricter parenting practices, negatively affecting their kids.
Workplace incivility is any behaviour that is rude, disrespectful, impolite or otherwise, violates workplace norms of respect. This behaviour shows a lack of concern for others, said Kathryne Dupre, of Carleton University in Canada.
Some examples of workplace incivility include ignoring or making derogatory remarks about someone, taking credit for the work of others, passing blame for your own mistakes, avoiding someone or shutting people out of a network or team. To better understand the effects of workplace incivility spill-over at home, the researchers conducted an online survey of 146 working mothers and their spouses.
Mothers were asked about their experience with incivility in the workplace as well as feelings of effectiveness as a parent. Their spouses were asked to report on the mothers’ negative parenting behaviours, both authoritarian (strict and controlling) and permissive.
They found a significant association between experiencing rude behaviour at work and authoritarian parenting by working mothers at home. There was no association found with permissive parenting.
Survey results also showed that incivility in the workplace was associated with mothers feeling less effective as parents, which could help explain the increased need to engage in strict, controlling parenting behaviours, said Dupre.
Authoritarian parents have high expectations of their children, with rules that they expect their children to follow unconditionally. At the same time, though, they provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance and harshly punish any mistakes, said Dupre.
They tend to have lots of regulations and micromanage almost every aspect of their children’s lives, valuing discipline over fun. “Research suggests that authoritarian parenting is more of a negative style of parenting as compared to other parenting styles,” Dupre said.
“This style of parenting has been associated with a variety of negative child outcomes, including associating obedience and success with love, exhibiting aggressive behaviour outside the home, being fearful or overly shy around others, having difficulty in social situations due to a lack of social competence, suffering from depression and anxiety, and struggling with self-control,” she said.
“These findings reveal some previously undocumented ways that women, in particular, suffer as a result of workplace aggression,” said Angela Dionisi, from Carleton University.
“In uncovering how this mistreatment in the workplace interferes with positive mother-child interactions, this research also speaks to a previously unacknowledged group of indirect incivility victims, namely children,” said Dionisi.
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