Latent profile analysis of post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth among firefighters

Yongchan Shin, Jee Eun Karin Nam, Aeyoung Lee, Youngkeun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Due to the job characteristics, firefighters are repeatedly exposed to trauma incidents. However, not all firefighters exhibit the same level of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or post-traumatic growth (PTG). Despite this, few studies have looked into firefighters’ PTSD and PTG. Objective: This study identified subgroups of firefighters based on their PTSD and PTG levels, and investigated the influence of demographic factors and PTSD/PTG-related factors on latent class classification. Method: Latent profile analysis was used to examine the patterns of PTSD and PTG among 483 firefighters in South Korea. Using a cross-sectional design, demographic factors and job factors were examined as group covariates through a three-step approach. PTSD-related factors such as depression and suicide ideation, as well as PTG-related factors such as emotion-based response were analysed as differentiating factors. Results: Four classes were identified and named ‘Low PTSD-low PTG (65.2%),’ ‘Mid PTSD-mid PTG (15.5%),’ ‘Low PTSD-high PTG (15.3%),’ and ‘High PTSD-mid PTG (3.9%).’ The likelihood of belonging to the group with high trauma-related risks increased with more rotating shift work and years of service. The differentiating factors revealed differences based on the levels of PTSD and PTG in each group. Conclusions: 34.8% of firefighters experienced changes due to traumatic events while on the job, and some required serious attention. Modifiable job characteristics, such as the shift pattern, indirectly affected PTSD and PTG levels. Individual and job factors should be considered together when developing trauma interventions for firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2159048
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by the 4·16 Foundation and Community Chest of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Firefighters
  • latent profile analysis
  • post-traumatic growth
  • post-traumatic stress
  • PTSD


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