chapter  4
13 Pages

Links between Personality, Work-Related Stress and Health

ByNico Dragano, Morten Wahrendorf, Thorsten Lunau

This chapter explores the role of personality in the frame of contemporary work stress research. It describes basic ideas about stress and stress-related disease in general. The chapter outlines the existing theoretical ideas and methodological approaches within 'conventional' occupational epidemiology to investigate stress at work. It explores how personality may affect work stress and its consequences for health. The chapter presents some new empirical findings on links between personality, work stress and health. They are based on data from a longitudinal cohort study of workers in the United States. The chapter examines how personality is related to work-related stress and its consequences for mental health. Pre-existing behavioural or biomedical risk factors can increase the vulnerability towards the negative health effects of a work-related stress reaction. It has been shown that certain elements of personality like hostility or negative affectivity have negative effects on health or health-damaging behaviours, e.g. smoking or physical inactivity.