Mean bossThe stress and tension caused by an abusive boss can follow a worker home and affect his relationships with family members, according to a new study.

The Baylor University study, published online and in the winter issue of the journal Personnel Psychology, was reported on in MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Results were based on surveys completed by 280 full-time employees and their partners.

Researchers found "supervisor abuse" -- which includes tantrums, rudeness, public criticism and inconsiderate action --causes employees to be less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with their partners and other family members.

However, the longer the employee-partner relationship, the less effect the abusive boss had on the family. The researchers also found that having more children at home meant greater family satisfaction for the employee.

"These findings have important implications for organizations and their managers. The evidence highlights the need for organizations to send an unequivocal message to those in supervisory positions that these hostile and harmful behaviors will not be tolerated," study author Dawn Carlson, a professor of management and chair of organizational development at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor, said in a university news release.

Businesses and other organizations should encourage workers to use employee assistance programs or other resources, such as counseling and stress management, to find ways to reduce the impact an abusive boss has on the family, the study authors said.