Perceived Violence Climate: A New Construct and its Relationship to Workplace Physical Violence and Verbal Aggression, and their Potential Consequences

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Violence climate, verbal aggression, healthcare, perceived violence, work-related stress

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Workplace accidents and violence are both potential sources of employee injuries that have been dealt with in entirely separate literatures. In this study we adapted the concept of safety climate from the accident/injury literature to violence in developing the concept of perceived violence climate. A scale was developed to assess perceived violence climate, including items about management attention, concern, and policies designed to keep employees safe from violence. Data were collected from a sample of 198 nurses from a US Hospital. Perceived violence climate was found to correlate significantly with both physical violence and verbal aggression experienced by the nurses, injury from violence, and perceptions of workplace danger. Furthermore, regression analyses showed that climate explained additional variance in psychological strain and perceptions of danger over experienced violence. These results have implications for interventions aimed at producing a good perceived violence climate in order to reduce the incidence of violence and aggression within an organization.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Work & Stress, v. 21, issue 2, p. 117-130