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Temporal and Energetic Characteristics of Behavior Predicting Long-term Job Strain, Job Demands, and Job Control: A Population-based Study

Hintsa, Taina PhD; Hintsanen, Mirka PhD; Jokela, Markus PhD; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 331–336
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827b736a
Original Articles

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.

From the IBS, Psychology (Drs Hintsa, Hintsanen, Jokela, and Keltikangas-Järvinen) and Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Dr Hintsanen), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

TH was supported by the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, and MH was supported by Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Ella & Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, and Research Funds of the University of Helsinki.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence to: Taina Hintsa, PhD, IBS, University of Helsinki, PO Box 9, FIN-00014, Helsinki, Finland (

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine