Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1167–1175 | Cite as

Ethnic and Gender Differences in the Association Between Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms Among Five Immigrant Groups

Original Paper


This study examines ethnic and gender differences in exposure to discrimination and its association with depressive symptoms among five immigrant groups. Data were derived from a cross-sectional survey of 900 adult immigrants (50.8 % men, 49.2 % women) sampled from five ethnic immigrant communities in Toronto between April and September 2001. Men reported higher levels of discrimination than women. Ethiopians had the highest perception of discrimination followed by Korean, Iranian, Vietnamese, and Irish immigrants. With regard to discrimination-related depressive symptoms, Iranian and Korean men showed a greater risk than their Irish counterparts. Among women, Vietnamese and Irish seemed to be more vulnerable to discrimination than other ethnic groups. Despite experiencing the highest level of discrimination, Ethiopian men and women showed no association between discrimination and depressive symptoms. The exposure and psychological response to discrimination vary significantly across ethnicities and gender.


Immigrant health Ethnicity Gender Discrimination Depressive symptoms 



This research project was supported by the Medical Research Council of Canada and approved by the Office of Research Ethics at the University of Toronto (Protocol #3242).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social and Epidemiological ResearchCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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