Mendoza School of Business

Unhappy at Work? Blame Your DNA

Published: September 17, 2012 / Author: Chad Brooks

Stressed-out workers who blame their employer for their anxiety should think again, a new study shows.

Research by Timothy Judge, a professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, found that work stress, job satisfaction and health problems due to high stress have more to do with genes than most realize.

Judge studied nearly 600 identical and fraternal twins who were raised together and reared apart. He found that being raised in the same environment had very little effect on personality, stress and health. Instead, shared genes turned out to be about four times as important as shared environment.

As an example, Judge said two employees at the same business may report different levels of stress. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one’s job is objectively more stressful.

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Topics: Mendoza