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Race, Racial Discrimination, and the Risk of Work-Related Illness, Injury, or Assault: Findings From a National Study

Shannon, Candice A. MA; Rospenda, Kathleen M. PhD; Richman, Judith A. PhD; Minich, Lisa M. MA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 4 - p 441-448
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181990c17
Original Articles

Objective: This study examines whether workplace racial harassment or discrimination mediates the relationship between race or ethnicity and work-related illness, injury, or assault across time.

Methods: A national random digit dial phone survey was conducted at two points in time (W1: 2003-2004; W2: 2004-2005) among a sample of Black, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white workers. As part of the survey, respondents indicated their experiences with racial harassment or discrimination, and occupational illness, injury, or assault in the past 12 months.

Results: Hispanic respondents were more likely than whites to experience work-related illness, injury or assault, and these associations were mediated by experiences of racial harassment or discrimination.

Conclusions: Interventions to reduce workplace harassment and discrimination may help decrease risk for work-related illness, injury, or assault among Hispanic workers.

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

CME Available for this Article at

Kathleen Rospenda and coauthors have no financial interest related to this research.

Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIAAA. The data were collected by the Survey Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Address correspondence to: Kathleen Rospenda, PhD, Department of Psychiatry (MC 912), University of Illinois at Chicago, SPHPI 481, 1601 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine