Association between workplace discrimination and depressive symptoms among firefighters in South Korea

Nagyeong Lee, Ji Hwan Kim, Ja Young Kim, Seung Sup Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Workplace discrimination is associated with poor mental health. However, there is a lack of studies examining the effects of discrimination on depressive symptoms among firefighters. Methods: We analyzed a national cross-sectional survey of 6369 firefighters in South Korea. Workplace discrimination during the past year was measured and main reasons for the discriminatory experience (gender, birth region, age, education, field/office work, job division) were identified separately by gender and job division. Depressive symptoms during the previous week were measured by the CES-D11. Results: Overall, 30.3% of firefighters experienced workplace discrimination and the main reasons for discrimination differed by gender and job division. Firefighters who experienced workplace discrimination had a higher likelihood of depressive symptoms than those who did not after adjusting for potential confounders (PR: 1.73; 95%CI: 1.55, 1.92). Conclusions: This finding suggests that experience of workplace discrimination could aggravate the mental health of firefighters who provide an important public service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-750
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep


  • South Korea
  • depressive symptoms
  • firefighters
  • workplace discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between workplace discrimination and depressive symptoms among firefighters in South Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this