Personality as a Resource for Labor Market Participation among Individuals with Chronic Health Conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Downloads (Pure)


Background:The link between personality traits and employment status in individuals with chronic health conditions (CHCs) is largely unexplored. In this study, we examined this association among 21,173 individuals with CHCs and whether this association differs between individuals suffering from a heart disease, depression, anxiety, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disease (MSD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).Methods:This study was conducted using baseline data from the Lifelines Cohort Study. Employment status and the presence of CHCs were determined by questionnaire data. The Revised Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) was used to measure eight personality facet traits. We conducted disease-generic and disease-specific logistic regression analyses.Results:Workers with higher scores on self-consciousness (OR: 1.02; 95% CI: 1.01-1.02), impulsivity (1.03; 1.02-1.04), excitement seeking (1.02; 1.01-1.02), competence (1.08; 1.07-1.10) and self-discipline (1.04; 1.03-1.05) were more often employed. Adults with higher scores on anger-hostility (0.97; 0.97-0.98), vulnerability (0.98; 0.97-0.99), and deliberation (0.96; 0.95-0.97) were least often employed. Personality facets were associated strongest with employment status among individuals suffering from MSD and weakest in individuals with T2DM.Conclusions:Personality might be a key resource to continue working despite having a CHC. This may be relevant for the development of targeted personality-focused interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6240
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2020


  • Personality
  • Big Five
  • Chronic health condition
  • Resilience
  • Neuroticism
  • Extraversion
  • Conscientiousness
  • Work
  • Occupation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Cite this