Power at work is bad for mental health

People wielding power at workplace are more likely to suffer from psychological and physical problems.
A University of Toronto study, which used data from a survey of 1,800 American workers in different occupations and sectors, revealed previously undocumented evidence about the ups and downsides of power at workplaces.

People with job authority are defined as those who direct or manage the work of others, have control over others, pay, and can hire or fire others.

Sociology professor Scott Schieman and doctoral student Sarah Reid of the Toronto University said people who wield authority have certain benefits but there are negatives too. “In most cases, the health costs negate the benefits.”

“Power at work does have drawbacks, and the negative impact on personal health – both emotional and physical – is one of them,” says Schieman, lead author of the study.

People with work authority report significantly higher levels of interpersonal conflict with others, says Schieman. These findings appeared online in Social Science and Medicine.

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