Measuring exposure to bullying and harassment at work: Validity, factor structure and psychometric properties of the negative acts questionnaire-revised

  • Einarsen S
  • Hoel H
  • Notelaers G
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Abstract

Abstract This study investigates the psychometric properties, factor structure and validity of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R), an instrument designed to measure exposure to bullying in the workplace. By reanalyzing data based on a heterogeneous sample of 5288 UK employees, the results show that the 22-item instrument has a high internal stability, with three underlying factors: personal bullying, work-related bullying and physically intimidating forms of bullying, although the instrument may also be used as a single factor measure. Criterion validity was explored by relating the scores on the NAQ-R to a single-item measure of perceived victimization from bullying, showing high correlations with both the total NAQ-R and scores on the three factors. Targets of bullying scored significantly higher on all 22 items compared to non-targets. The NAQ-R correlated as expected with measures of mental health, psychosocial work environment and leadership, indicating a good construct validity of the instrument. Furthermore, a latent class cluster (LCC) analysis showed that the instrument may be used to differentiate between groups of employees with different levels of exposure to bullying, ranging from infrequent exposure to incivility at work to severe victimization from bullying and harassment. The more commonly used operational criteria can also be used to detect targets of bullying. Hence, the NAQ-R is proposed as a standardized and valid instrument for the measurement of workplace bullying. Abstract This study investigates the psychometric properties, factor structure and validity of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R), an instrument designed to measure exposure to bullying in the workplace. By reanalyzing data based on a heterogeneous sample of 5288 UK employees, the results show that the 22-item instrument has a high internal stability, with three underlying factors: personal bullying, work-related bullying and physically intimidating forms of bullying, although the instrument may also be used as a single factor measure. Criterion validity was explored by relating the scores on the NAQ-R to a single-item measure of perceived victimization from bullying, showing high correlations with both the total NAQ-R and scores on the three factors. Targets of bullying scored significantly higher on all 22 items compared to non-targets. The NAQ-R correlated as expected with measures of mental health, psychosocial work environment and leadership, indicating a good construct validity of the instrument. Furthermore, a latent class cluster (LCC) analysis showed that the instrument may be used to differentiate between groups of employees with different levels of exposure to bullying, ranging from infrequent exposure to incivility at work to severe victimization from bullying and harassment. The more commonly used operational criteria can also be used to detect targets of bullying. Hence, the NAQ-R is proposed as a standardized and valid instrument for the measurement of workplace bullying.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Inventory
  • Negative Acts Questionnaire
  • Prevalence
  • Survey
  • Victimization

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Authors

  • Staale Einarsen

  • Helge Hoel

  • Guy Notelaers

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