The roles of financial threat, social support, work stress and mental distress in dairy farmers' expectations of injury
Furey, Emilia M.
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Furey, Emilia M., O’Hora, Denis, McNamara, John, Kinsella, Stephen, & Noone, Chris. (2016). The Roles of Financial Threat, Social Support, Work Stress, and Mental Distress in Dairy Farmers’ Expectations of Injury. Frontiers in Public Health, 4(126). doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00126
Farming is dangerous, with fatalities among the highest in any occupation. Farmers often work alone, for long hours, with unreliable equipment and in difficult weather conditions with hazardous chemicals and livestock. In addition, farmers make large financial commitments exposing them to high levels of financial risk. Exposure to such financial risk can give rise to subjective experiences of financial threat (FT) that are psychologically challenging. The current study attempted to characterize the role that FT plays in farm injuries. One hundred and twenty one dairy farmers completed a battery of questionnaires assessing FT, social support (SS), depression, anxiety, farm job stress, and health and safety beliefs. Mental distress directly predicted farmers’ expectations of injury and a direct effect of non-financial farm stress (FS) approached significance. Mental distress mediated these relationships as evidenced by significant indirect effects of FS and FT, and SS served to reduce distress. These findings support calls for interventions designed to reduce FS and FT and increase SS for farmers.