Stress Among Latinos: Does it Vary by Occupation and Agricultural Season?

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Abstract

Objective:

Stress is pervasive among Latino immigrants. We identified seasonal and occupational patterns in stress among rural Latino immigrants.

Methods:

During three agricultural periods, farmworker and non-farmworker participants responded to a 24-item stress questionnaire (Snipes et al, 2007). We measured the associations of stress with occupation, with season, and occupation within season, adjusting for demographic variables.

Results:

The highest levels of stress were observed in the pre-thinning season when pruning takes place among farmworkers. Stress is significantly higher in farmworkers compared with non-farmworkers only in the non-spray season when crops are dormant. Higher income was associated with decreased stress in the pre-thinning and thinning seasons when buds and small fruit are removed from orchards.

Conclusions:

Identification of strategies to reduce stress in Latino migrants is warranted. Although some sources of stress may be intractable, others may be amenable to intervention.

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