Coping with job insecurity: How does personality make a difference?



Reversing a long-standing tradition of neglect, occupational stress researchers have recently rediscovered the importance of personality disposition in understanding the transformation of stresses into strains and strains into symptoms. Two recent studies of job insecurity in our laboratory provided a fortuitous opportunity to explore the extent of this influence and the mechanisms by which it operates. The most important of our findings is that positive personality attributes impact as strongly on mental health as does negative personality disposition, albeit in the opposite direction. Thus, personality can cushion, as well as aggravate, the impact of occupational stress.