Racial and ethnic minority groups in the workforce are prone to higher rates of work-related diseases, injuries, and psychological distress than members of the dominant group. The severity and types of hazards minorities face are also very different because they may work in more physically demanding, labor-intensive jobs that often do not provide full benefits or enough income to access proper health care.

Fortunately, the burgeoning field of occupational health psychology (OHP) is ideally positioned to address these disparities and improve conditions for minority workers. To fully understand the needs of racial and ethnic minorities, however, OHP requires a multicultural perspective.

This book gathers experts in OHP and multicultural psychology to establish an evidence-based framework that will promote advancements in policy, research, and interventions, all of which are needed to reduce occupational health disparities (OHDs).

Chapters review the disparities that Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans face in a variety of industries, including agriculture, transportation, construction, nursing, and information technology. They also explore a wide array of issues that impact and are impacted by OHDs, such as socioeconomic status; education; discriminatory and hostile work environments; lack of effective safety training; language proficiency; and other cultural, community, and organizational factors.

Table of Contents


Series Foreword
Frederick T. L. Leong

Frederick T. L. Leong, Donald E. Eggerth, and Michael A. Flynn

Frederick T. L. Leong, Donald E. Eggerth, Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, Michael A. Flynn, J. Kevin Ford, and Rubén O. Martinez

I. Policy

  1. Latino Occupational Health and the Changing Regulatory Context of Work
    Rubén O. Martinez
  2. Employment Conditions as a Social Determinant of Health in Latino Populations: Policy Interventions Using the WHO Social Determinants Model
    Rafael Moure-Eraso and Maria Julia Brunette

II. Research

  1. Current Thinking on Occupational Health Disparities in the Global Economy
    Lois E. Tetrick
  2. Community-Based Participatory Research and Occupational Health Disparities: Pesticide Exposure Among Immigrant Farmworkers
    Thomas A. Arcury and Sara A. Quandt
  3. Addressing Occupational Stress Among African Americans
    Rashaun Roberts
  4. Occupational Health Disparities Among Asian Americans: Review and Recommendations
    Frederick T. L. Leong, Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, and Stanton Mak

III. Interventions

  1. Developing Occupational Safety and Health Training Programs for Immigrant Workers: Translating Research to Practice
    Sara A. Quandt and Thomas A. Arcury
  2. The Work, Family, and Health Network Organizational Intervention: Core Elements and Customization for Diverse Occupational Health Contexts
    Ellen Ernst Kossek, Brad Wipfli, Rebecca Thompson, Krista Brockwood, and members of the Work Family Health Network Writing Team

Afterword: Research and Policy Implications to Addressing Health Disparities
Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, J. Kevin Ford, and Rubén O. Martinez


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Frederick T. L. Leong, PhD, is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Michigan State University, and director of the Consortium for Multicultural Psychology Research. He has authored or coauthored more than 290 journal articles and book chapters and either edited or coedited 20 books. He is editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Counseling (Sage Publications) and the APA Handbook of Multicultural Psychology.

He is the founding editor of the Asian American Journal of Psychology and the associate editor of the Archives of Scientific Psychology. Dr. Leong served as associate editor of the American Psychologist, and the lead editor of the Handbook of Asian American Psychology, Second Edition.

His major research interests center on culture and mental health, cross-cultural psycho-therapy (especially with Asians and Asian Americans), cultural and personality factors related to career choice, adaptability, and work stress.

He is the recipient of the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology, Stanley Sue Award for Distinguished Contributions to Diversity in Clinical Psychology from APA Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology), APA Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race) Distinguished Contributions to Research Award, APA Minority Fellowship Program's Dalmas Taylor Distinguished Contributions Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian American Psychological Association, and the APA Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science.

Donald E. Eggerth, PhD, is a senior researcher with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. He received his degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Eggerth is a Fellow of APA (Division 17 [Society of Counseling Psychology] and Division 45 [Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race]) and a recipient of the Dorothy Booz Black Award for outstanding achievement in health psychology.

He currently manages a portfolio of projects concerning Latino immigrant worker safety and health.

Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, PhD, is an associate professor in the department of psychology at Michigan State University. She received her PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Akron.

Her research interests focus on occupational health and safety, leadership, and motivation. Specifically, she studies issues related to occupational stress, workplace violence, and how employee motivation and organizational leadership intersect with issues concerning employee health and wellbeing.

Her work has been published in Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Psychological Bulletin, and Work & Stress. She has served as an associate editor at Applied Psychology: An International Review and Journal of Organizational Behavior, and is currently serving as an associate editor with the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Michael A. Flynn, MA, is a social scientist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), where he serves as the project officer for a program of research to better understand and improve the occupational health of immigrant workers. He also serves NIOSH as the coordinator for the Occupational Health Equity Program.

He is an applied anthropologist whose research interests include social determinates of health, organizational culture, and intervention effectiveness as they relate to occupational health.

Mr. Flynn has a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Cincinnati, and is a research fellow of the Consortium for Multicultural Psychology Research at Michigan State University.

J. Kevin Ford, PhD, is a professor and associate chair of psychology at Michigan State University. His major research interests involve improving learning and retention in the workplace through training and other learning activities.

Dr. Ford also concentrates on organizational change and how to build continuous learning and improvement orientations within organizations.

He is a Fellow of APA and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He received his BS in psychology from the University of Maryland and both his MA and PhD in psychology from The Ohio State University.

Rubén O. Martinez, PhD, is a professor of sociology and director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. He is the editor of the Latinos in the United States book series with the Michigan State University Press.

He has co-authored several books, including Chicanos in Higher Education (1993), Diversity Leadership in Higher Education (2007), and A Brief History of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, MI (2012); edited volumes include Latinos in the Midwest (2011) and he coedited a volume titled Latino College Presidents: In Their Own Words (2013).

Dr. Martinez's research interests include neoliberalism and Latinos, diversity leadership in higher education, education and ethnic minorities, Latino labor and entrepreneurship, and environmental justice issues.

Reviews & Awards

The study of occupational health disparities among workers of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds is critically important if we are to reduce the disproportionate toll of injury and illness that these workers experience every day. Until the publication of this volume, there was limited literature on this emerging area of occupational health. I applaud the editors and contributors for compiling this wonderful resource.
—John Howard, MD, MPH, JD, LLM
Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Leong and coeditors have assembled a strong team of authors who offer fresh insights into the occupational health concerns currently faced by minority workers. The book combines empirical findings from behavioral science research with discussions of social and organizational policy solutions. I highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking ways to understand and improve occupational health.
—Bob Sinclair, PhD
Professor of Psychology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC; Founding Editor, Occupational Health Science

This book is a unique contribution to the sparse literature on work-related health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. The authors provide well-researched discussions of policy, research, and interventions that help us better understand the causes, impacts, and possible solutions to the disproportionate rates of disease, injury, and fatality that minority groups suffer when compared with the population in general. This is a significant, timely contribution for those interested in an expanding multicultural perspective on work-related health disparities.
—Melba J. T. Vasquez, PhD, ABPP
Former President, American Psychological Association; Independent Practice, Austin, TX