Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Gülşah Kemer

Committee Member

Edward Neukrug

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh


Research with firefighters continues to indicate that this population is particularly vulnerable to development of mental health conditions as a result of their professional roles (International Association of Firefighters [IAFF], 2019; Stanley et al., 2017; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2018) and minority firefighters may be at heightened risk as a result of their experiences within the fire service. An answer to this concern may lie in the exploration of belonging and uncivil behaviors, as research has demonstrated that belonging in the workplace serves to reduce mental health symptoms and enhance an individual’s ability to cope with stressors and workplace trauma (Cockshaw & Shochet, 2010; Shakespeare-Finch & Daley, 2017), while uncivil behaviors have been linked to decreased work performance and detriments to mental health (Kunkel & Davidson, 2014; Porath, Foulk, et al., 2015; Porath & Gerbasi, 2015; Porath, Gerbasi, et al., 2015; Porath & Pearson, 2012). Therefore, to better understand minority firefighters’ experiences with uncivil coworker behaviors that influenced their sense of belonging in their workplace, I used Concept Mapping design (CM; Kane & Trochim, 2007). Ten firefighters that self-identified as racial minorities generated 73 statements describing behaviors that decreased their feelings of belonging. These statements were organized into four regions encompassing seven clusters. I discussed findings of the current study with implications for mental health professionals’ treatment of firefighters, counselor education, and the fire service as a whole as well as the limitations to the study and suggestions for future research.