Bad bosses make bad marriages: Study

(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 4:29 PM ET

Having a cruel boss makes it hard to maintain a happy marriage, a new study suggests.

According to a survey of 280 full-time employees and their partners, people whose bosses yell at them and humiliate them are more likely to fight with their spouses.

"It may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members," said Merideth Ferguson, co-author of the study.

The survey asked employees questions like: "How often does your supervisor use the following behaviors with you?" with examples such as: "Tells me my thoughts or feelings are stupid," "Expresses anger at me when he/she is mad for another reason," "Puts me down in front of others," and "Tells me I'm incompetent."

It asks the employees' partners: "During the past month, how often did you...?" with the options: "Feel irritated or resentful about things your (husband/wife/partner) did or didn't do" or "feel tense from fighting, arguing or disagreeing with your (husband/wife/partner)."

The results suggested the downtrodden workers were taking their negative experiences home with them.

"These findings have important implications for organizations and their managers. The evidence highlights the need for organizations to send an unequivocal message to those in supervisory positions that these hostile and harmful behaviours will not be tolerated," said lead author Dawn Carlson.

The study, out of private Christian school Baylor University, was published in the most recent edition of the journal Personnel Psychology.


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