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Stress, Depression, and Occupational Injury among Migrant Farmworkers in Nebraska.

  • Author(s): Ramos, Athena K
  • Carlo, Gustavo
  • Grant, Kathleen
  • Trinidad, Natalia
  • Correa, Antonia
  • et al.
Abstract

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Farmworkers, including migrant farmworkers, are at risk for work-related injuries. This study explores the association between stress, depression, and occupational injury among migrant farmworkers in Nebraska. Occupational injury was hypothesized to significantly increase the odds of farmworkers being stressed and depressed. Two hundred migrant farmworkers (mean age = 33.5 years, standard deviation (SD) = 12.53; 93.0% men, 92.9% of Mexican descent) were interviewed. In bivariate analyses, results indicated that stress and depression were positively associated with occupational injury. Two logistic regression models were developed. Occupational injury was a significant factor for depression, but not for stress. Participants who had been injured on the job were over seven times more likely to be depressed. These results highlight the interconnection between the work environment and mental health. More must be done to foster well-being in rural, agricultural communities. Improving occupational health and safety information and training, integrating behavioral health services into primary care settings, and strengthening the protections of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act may improve conditions for migrant farmworkers in the rural Midwest.

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