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Clinically Significant Occupational Stressors in New York Farmers and Farm Families

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 4(1):9-14 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15348) @1998
Authors:   J. J.May
Keywords:   Stress, Agricultural workers

Persons working in agriculture have been repeatedly noted to have problems with excessive emotional stress. It is probable that this stress is a major risk factor in problems such as suicide, depression, and occupational injury. The Farm Partners program has helped nearly 400 New York farmers and families to address stress-related problems. Abstracting data from 100 randomly selected Farm Partner client cases allowed categorization of the most prominent types of stressors encountered in actual clinical practice. This information was analyzed for each of several specific age and sex stratifications of this population. Groups were compared using chi square testing. The most prominent stressors included finances 51%, family interactions 37%, health problems 31%, injury 19%, and grief 17%. There was a tendency for health and financial stressors to affect more older farmers and family issues to affect more younger farmers. Grief was an issue for womenparticularly those in mid-life. Although these findings in large measure confirm the results of previous interviews and surveys of farm populations, some areas appear not to be as significant in this population as might have been expected.

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