Objective: To examine whether temporal and energetic characteristics of behavior contribute to perceived job strain and its components.
Methods: There were 611 participants (273 men) aged 30 to 45 years. Temperament traits were measured by Strelau's Formal Characteristics of Behavior–Temperament Inventory in 1997 and 2001. Job characteristics, education, and occupation were reported in 2001 and 2007.
Results: We found that higher emotional reactivity and perseveration, and lower briskness, endurance, and activity, predicted higher long-term perceived job strain in men and women. Higher job demands were predicted by lower endurance, higher emotional reactivity, and higher perseveration. Higher long-term job control was predicted by higher briskness, endurance, activity, and lower perseveration and emotional reactivity.
Conclusions: Being emotionally highly reactive and having a persevering temperament may increase the likelihood of high job strain, whereas having a brisk, enduring, and active temperament may decrease it.