Objective: This study examined the association between personality traits and work stress.
Methods: The sample comprised 757 women and 613 men (aged 30 to 45 years in 2007) participating in the Young Finns study. Personality was assessed with the NEO-FFI questionnaire and work stress according to Siegrist's effort–reward imbalance (ERI) model.
Results: High neuroticism, low extraversion, and low agreeableness were associated with high ERI. Low conscientiousness was associated with high ERI in men. No association was found between openness and ERI. High neuroticism, high extraversion, and low agreeableness were associated with high effort and low neuroticism, high extraversion, and high agreeableness with high rewards. High conscientiousness was associated with high effort, and in women, with high rewards. High openness was associated with high effort.
Conclusions: This study suggests that personality traits may predispose to and protect from work stress.