Study Finds One Type A Characteristic Lowers Work Stress

Most characteristics of the "Type A" personality are linked to increased work stress. But there's one important exception, according to a study in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Leadership is the Type A characteristic associated with reduced job stress--a finding that may be useful in designing stress-reduction programs, according to Taina Hintsa and colleagues of University of Helsinki.

The researchers analyzed the relationship between Type A behavior and work stress in 752 Finnish workers. In contrast to previous studies, they broke Type A behavior into four dimensions: leadership, aggression, being "hard-driving," and eagerness-energy.

High scores for aggression, hard-driving, and eagerness-energy were all associated with high job stress. These three Type A characteristics were also linked to "effort-reward imbalance"--a key contributor to work stress.

In contrast, workers who scored high on leadership had lower work stress. High leadership was linked to high work effort, but also to high work rewards. High leadership was also associated with high job control, which may help to reduce work stress.

The Type A personality--with characteristics like aggression, time urgency, and competitiveness--has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Type A behavior may also be a risk factor for high stress on the job. Especially if they feel like they're not in control, Type A personalities may respond by becoming over-involved in work.

High leadership protects against work stress, the new study suggests. Leadership may be associated with a good balance between job effort and rewards and a higher level of control over work. In contrast, other three Type A characteristics--aggression, hard-driving, and eagerness-energy--are linked to high work stress and effort-reward imbalance.

These personality characteristics should be considered in designing programs attempting to address work stress, Hintsa and co-authors said. For example, since leadership increases job control, giving employees a stronger say in work decisions help to reduce job stress.

For more information, visit www.joem.org.

Product Showcase

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. Read More

  • Preventative Heat Safety

    Dehydration and heat exposure impair physical and cognitive performance. Proper hydration boosts heat stress resilience, but hydration needs are highly individualized and hard to predict across a workforce. Connected Hydration® empowers industrial athletes to stay safe through behavioral interventions, informed by sports science, and equips safety teams with critical insights to anticipate high-risk situations and adapt to evolving environmental factors. Curious about applying the latest in sports science based hydration strategies for industrial athletes? Stop by booth #1112 at AIHA or schedule a free demo today at https://epcr.cc/demo. Read More

  • HAZ LO HEADLAMPS

    With alkaline or rechargeable options, these safety rated, Class 1, Div. 1 Headlamps provide long runtime with both spot and flood options in the same light. Work safely and avoid trip hazards with flexible hands-free lighting from Streamlight. Read More

Featured