Examining Race/Ethnicity Differences in the Association Between the Experience of Workplace Racial Discrimination and Depression or Negative Emotions

  • Andrea L. StoneEmail author
  • Shauna Elbers Carlisle


This study examines associations and potential interactions between race/ethnicity, workplace racial discrimination, depression, and negative emotional symptoms experienced due to treatment based on race. Data for this study come from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an annual telephone survey of US residents, aged 18 and older. Respondents from MN and NM (n = 13,655) completed a module titled Reactions to Race, which contained items assessing workplace racial discrimination and negative emotions experienced based on treatment due to race, as well as standard BRFSS items assessing a diagnosis of depression. Results support previous research concluding that non-Hispanic White survey respondents are less likely to experience racial discrimination in the workplace than other race/ethnicity groups, but were more likely to report both depression and negative emotions. Analyses stratified by race/ethnic group suggest that, after controlling for gender, marital status, education, and income, there was an association between experiencing workplace racial discrimination and reporting negative emotions due to treatment based on race (all p values < 0.001). Of note, this association was strongest for non-Hispanic White respondents.


Race Discrimination Depression Epidemiology 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors of this work, Andrea L. Stone and Shauna Elbers Carlisle, declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Washington Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nursing and Health StudiesUniversity of Washington BothellBothellUSA
  2. 2.School of Interdisciplinary Arts and SciencesUniversity of Washington BothellBothellUSA

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