College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Superiors may engage in hostile verbal and non-verbal behaviors towards their subordinates; such actions can be described as abusive supervision. These behaviors can have negative consequences on both the recipient of the abuse and outsiders who perceive the abusive supervision. The aim of this research is to examine if an individual's gender has an impact on their perception of abusive supervision and their intention to take action against the abuse. This study will examine if when there is gender congruence among superior, subordinate and incongruent the observer if the observer will be more accepting of this condition compared to all other conditions. Also, are men more likely to take action against abuse when the subordinate is male, whereas women more likely to take action if the subordinate is female? Participants will read vignettes describing interactions between a specific gender dyad over a week's period and rate their acceptability of abusive supervision behaviors and their likelihood of helping the subordinate. A portion of archival data from a larger study will be used to analyze the proposed hypotheses. Results will provide important insight on the effects that abusive supervision can have on those individuals who observe this type of abuse.