An exploration of relational aggression in the nursing workplace

Cheryl Dellasega, Rebecca L. Volpe, Cole Edmonson, Margaret Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: This study provides a 1st look at relational aggression (RA) and the consequences among nurses. BACKGROUND:: Interpersonal hostility, bullying, and a toxic work environment (WE) can impact patient care delivery as well as nurses' personal health and job satisfaction. METHODS:: The Relational Aggression Assessment Scale, measuring aggressors, victims, and bystanders, was used to measure RA in a sample of 842 nurses. Additional variables measured included a demographic profile, job satisfaction, and intent to leave. RESULTS:: Nurses were most likely to identify with victim behaviors, but a minority of nurses reported relying on aggressor behaviors and bystander behaviors. There was a positive correlation among aggressor, victim, and bystander items, suggesting overlap in roles. CONCLUSIONS:: A few relationally aggressive individuals can create a toxic WE. Interventions to address RA among nurses must be tested, as well as strategies for improving job satisfaction and promoting healthy WEs through positive relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nursing Administration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Leadership and Management


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