Understanding sexual harassment using aggregate construct models

Christopher D. Nye, Bradley J. Brummel, Fritz Drasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual harassment has received a substantial amount of empirical attention over the past few decades, and this research has consistently shown that experiencing these behaviors has a detrimental effect on employees' well-being, job attitudes, and behaviors at work. However, these findings, and the conclusions that are drawn from them, make the implicit assumption that the empirical models used to examine sexual harassment are properly specified. This article presents evidence that properly specified aggregate construct models are more consistent with theoretical structures and definitions of sexual harassment and can result in different conclusions about the nomological network of harassment. Results from 3 large samples, 2 military and 1 from a civilian population, are used to illustrate the differences between aggregate construct and reflective indicator models of sexual harassment. These analyses suggested that the factor structure and the nomological network of sexual harassment differ when modeling harassment as an aggregate construct. The implications of these results for the continued study of sexual harassment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1221
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Aggregate construct models
  • Formative indicators
  • Sexual harassment
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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