Understanding mental health among military veterans in the fire service. Academic Article uri icon


  • Firefighters who have previously served in the military may be at potentially higher risk for worsened mental health outcomes. This investigation examined the mental health of military veterans, as compared to non-veterans, in the fire service. We hypothesized that firefighters who endorsed military veteran status would have higher rates of mental health symptoms, in comparison to firefighters who did not endorse prior service in the military. Age, gender, and race/ethnicity were used as covariates. The sample was comprised of 910 career firefighters, 209 (23.0%) of whom endorsed military veteran status. One-way analyses of covariance were employed. The military veteran subsample reported significantly higher levels of sleep disturbance, depression, and posttraumatic stress symptom severity in comparison to the non-veteran subsample; however, effect sizes were small indicating that between group differences are actually negligible. Results highlight the need to improve our understanding of risk and resilience factors for firefighters who have served in the military, as this line of inquiry has potentially important mental health intervention implications for this exceptionally understudied population.

published proceedings

  • Psychiatry Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Bartlett, B. A., Smith, L. J., Tran, J. K., & Vujanovic, A. A.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Bartlett, Brooke A||Smith, Lia J||Tran, Jana K||Vujanovic, Anka A

publication date

  • September 2018