Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Does Mobbing Cause Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Previous research has documented that a variety of anxiety, depressive, and psychosomatic symptoms are present in a substantial portion of mobbing victims. This study aimed to explore the frequency of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among mobbing victims, and to investigate how PTSD was linked to pertinent psychometric scales.


We recruited 20 mobbing victims and conducted the Structural Clinical Interview (SCID) to assess PTSD according to DSM-IV criteria. The trauma criterion was homogeneously defined as mobbing.


55% of our entire sample had a current PTSD, and 70% suffered from severe posttraumatic stress symptoms according to the Impact of Event Scale. Using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), we found that mobbing victims with a current PTSD tended to demonstrate higher levels of stress and depressive symptoms, and less quality of life (SF 36 Short-Form Health Survey), especially in terms of bodily pain, compared with those without a PTSD diagnosis. No significant differences in personality factors (Freiburg Personality Inventory) between mobbing-victims with and without PTSD were evident by multivariate analysis. Univariate statistics, however, revealed that mobbing-related PTSD showed a trend towards higher scores in social orientation and somatic complaints. There was no general evidence that mobbing victims with a PTSD used more often negative and positive coping strategies (SVF - Stress Coping Questionnaire). However, they showed a tendency to employ control strategies, avoidance, social withdrawal, and cognitive preoccupation.


Posttraumatic stress disorder subsequent to mobbing can occur frequently. PTSD therefore should be specifically considered in routine care.

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