Workplace incivility can make women adopt stricter and more authoritarian parenting practices, which in turn can have a negative impact on their kids, suggests a study.
The study was presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
"These findings reveal some previously undocumented ways that women, in particular, suffer as a result of workplace aggression," said researcher Angela Dionisi of Carleton University, adding, "In uncovering how this mistreatment in the workplace interferes with positive mother-child interactions, this research also speaks to a previously unacknowledged group of indirect incivility victims, namely children."
Workplace incivility is any behaviour that is rude, disrespectful, impolite or otherwise violates workplace norms of respect. This behaviour shows a lack of concern for others, according to co-author Kathryne Dupre.
Some examples of workplace incivility include ignoring or making derogatory remarks about someone, taking credit for the work of others, passing blame for your own mistakes, avoiding someone or shutting people out of a network or team.
"We now know, based on much empirical evidence, that the outcomes of workplace incivility are vast and negative," said Dupre. "For example, being on the receiving end of workplace incivility has been linked to lower levels of effort and performance on the job, higher levels of stress, and impaired attention, information processing and decision-making."
To better understand the effects of workplace incivility spillover at home, the researchers conducted an online survey of 146 working mothers and their spouses.
Survey results also showed that incivility in the workplace was associated with mothers feeling less effective as parents, which could help explain the increased need to engage in strict, controlling parenting behaviours.
Authoritarian parents have high expectations of their children, with rules that they expect their children to follow unconditionally. At the same time, though, they provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance and harshly punish any mistakes, said Dupre. They tend to have lots of regulations and micromanage almost every aspect of their children's lives, valuing discipline over fun.
"Research suggests that authoritarian parenting is more of a negative style of parenting as compared to other parenting styles. This style of parenting has been associated with a variety of negative child outcomes, including associating obedience and success with love, exhibiting aggressive behavior outside the home, being fearful or overly shy around others, having difficulty in social situations due to a lack of social competence, suffering from depression and anxiety, and struggling with self-control," she said.