Relational aggression is a type of bullying typified by various forms of psychological (rather than physical) abuse. It includes such behaviors as gossiping, withholding information, and ostracism. Although relational aggression in girls has garnered considerable interest, scant research on this subject has been conducted among adult women or among nurses in particular. Most studies of bullying among nurses have been conducted outside the United States. This article reports on the relevant literature on bullying among health care workers, describes common scenarios, and offers a framework for changing workplace environments affected by bullying.
Relational aggression is one form of workplace bullying that nurses engage in. What can be done about it?
Cheryl A. Dellasega is a professor in the Department of Humanities of the College of Medicine at Pennsylvania State University in Hershey and the author of several books about relational aggression, including Mean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-to-Bees (John Wiley and Sons, 2005).
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