Effects of Parental Workplace Discrimination on Sickness Presenteeism von Joachim Gerich und Martina Beham-Rabanser
This paper analyzes the association between experienced and observed parental workplace discrimination and sickness presenteeism. Following stress theoretical approaches and reactance theory, we expected that both experienced and observed parental discrimination of others at the workplace would lead to a reactance behavior and could increase sickness presenteeism, especially in those individuals who deny arguments of justification. Based on survey data from employees aged between 20 and 45 years (n = 347), we confirmed experienced discrimination as a double risk factor that goes along with increased sickness, as well as an increased sickness presence propensity. Although observed discrimination against others was unrelated to sickness, it was similarly associated with increased presenteeism. For respondents with their own children, the association between experienced discrimination and presenteeism was amplified in those who disagree with economic justifications of discrimination. The relationship between presenteeism and observed discrimination in childless respondents was amplified in those who appraise discrimination as unfair. In accordance with a stress theoretical approach, we confirm negative health effects of parental discrimination. In accordance with reactance theory, it is concluded that discrimination encourages workers’ presenteeism in the sense of a self-endangering behavior to counter inappropriate stereotypes held against them.