The goals of this study are: 1) to examine the importance of workplace harassment (WH) as a predictor of alcohol use and misuse over time, in the context of other risk and protective factors, in a nationally representative employed sample; 2) to compare the use of professional services by WH victims compared to non-victims; and 3) to investigate whether and how gender influences the relationships among these variables. We will focus on the roles that 1) mental health, health, and other types of services use, 2) work-related social support, 3) coping style and behavior, 4) tension-reduction drinking expectancies, and 5) history of abuse and harassment outside the workplace play in increasing or decreasing vulnerability to negative alcohol outcomes for WH victims over time. This study will be the first to 1) gather national data on WH, thereby allowing a generalizable test of the alcohol-related effects of WH found in other studies, and 2) incorporate multiple types of WH experiences, including sexual, racial, faith-based, and generalized harassment. Random digit dial telephone survey methodology will be used to conduct a two-wave panel study (baseline, 12 months) on a national sample of 2,500 employed adult men and women. The survey will address: WH experiences, general job and life stress, history of non-workplace harassment and abuse, alcohol consumption patterns, problem drinking, tension-reduction drinking expectancies, coping (e.g., actively addressing WH; elicitation of work-related social support; use of professional services), focus of and satisfaction with services, psychological distress, job satisfaction, and physical health. A variety of statistical techniques (e.g., mixed-effects regression, structural equation modeling) will be used to depict changes over time in WH experiences and drinking outcomes, and to depict the varied pathways through which WH impacts on deleterious drinking and other outcomes. Major long-term objectives are: 1) to add to the body of knowledge regarding psychosocial risk factors for problematic alcohol use; 2) to use this knowledge to develop generalizable treatment and intervention guidelines to a) address alcohol use and misuse in clients presenting with WH and job stress-related problems, and b) to minimize other workplace consequences of WH and alcohol use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SNEM-1 (01))
Program Officer
Chiapella, Page
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Brown, Lezah P; Rospenda, Kathleen M; Sokas, Rosemary K et al. (2011) Evaluating the association of workplace psychosocial stressors with occupational injury, illness, and assault. J Occup Environ Hyg 8:31-7
Hoobler, Jenny M; Rospenda, Kathleen M; Lemmon, Grace et al. (2010) A within-subject longitudinal study of the effects of positive job experiences and generalized workplace harassment on well-being. J Occup Health Psychol 15:434-51
Rospenda, Kathleen M; Richman, Judith A; Shannon, Candice A (2009) Prevalence and mental health correlates of harassment and discrimination in the workplace: results from a national study. J Interpers Violence 24:819-43
Minich, Lisa M; Rospenda, Kathleen M; Richman, Judith A (2009) Mental health service utilization and drinking outcomes in a national population sample: are there racial/ethnic differences? J Addict Dis 28:281-93
Shannon, Candice A; Rospenda, Kathleen M; Richman, Judith A et al. (2009) Race, racial discrimination, and the risk of work-related illness, injury, or assault: findings from a national study. J Occup Environ Med 51:441-8
Rospenda, Kathleen M; Fujishiro, Kaori; Shannon, Candice A et al. (2008) Workplace harassment, stress, and drinking behavior over time: gender differences in a national sample. Addict Behav 33:964-7
Shannon, Candice A; Rospenda, Kathleen M; Richman, Judith A (2007) Workplace harassment patterning, gender, and utilization of professional services: findings from a US national study. Soc Sci Med 64:1178-91
Richman, Judith A; Zlatoper, Kenneth W; Zackula Ehmke, Jennifer L et al. (2006) Retirement and drinking outcomes: lingering effects of workplace stress? Addict Behav 31:767-76
Freels, Sally A; Richman, Judith A; Rospenda, Kathleen M (2005) Gender differences in the causal direction between workplace harassment and drinking. Addict Behav 30:1454-8
Rospenda, Kathleen M; Richman, Judith A (2004) The factor structure of generalized workplace harassment. Violence Vict 19:221-38