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Predicting cynicism as a function of trust and civility: a longitudinal analysis




The aim of this study was to examine whether participant views of job resources (i.e. trust and civility) towards their co-workers and supervisors were longitudinally predictive of workplace cynicism, an aspect of burnout.


Cynicism is a significant predictor of intention to quit among nurses. Social supports are hypothesized to protect workers from becoming increasingly cynical.


Measures of cynicism, and trust and civility in both co-workers and supervisors were part of a survey completed by a sample of 323 Canadian nurses whose responses were matched across two time-points, 1 year apart.


Hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses revealed that co-worker civility enhanced the ability of our regression models to predict cynicism by explaining 1.1% of the variance in cynicism. The addition of co-worker trust, supervisor civility and supervisor trust did not enhance the ability of the models to predict cynicism.


The results indicated the importance of workgroup civility in diminishing workplace cynicism.

Implications for nursing management

Efforts to reduce burnout may be improved by decreasing cynicism through interventions aimed at increasing workgroup civility.