An analysis of farmers’ human characteristics as drivers of their anxiety
Background: Past research has shown farmer anxiety and stress have significantly affected many farmers and their families due not only to the impact on feelings of happiness and success, but also on output efficiency, accident rates, and health. The past approach to ameliorating anxiety has been through utilizing coping mechanisms such as sharing with significant others, venting, planning, self-blame, and positive thinking. A problem has also been farmers’ reluctance to voice difficulties and seek help. Method: An alternative, more basic approach to anxiety amelioration is possible. This involves isolating the human characteristics that lead to anxiety, and subsequently modifying these to reduce anxiety and its associated impacts. Accordingly, the extensive literature on anxiety and stress was reviewed to facilitate developing an hypothesis outlining the important components explaining farmer anxiety. To assess the parameters of farmer anxiety, a random survey of New Zealand farmers was used to obtain their ratings on their anxiety. Regression models were used to quantify the relationships. Results: Specific farmer personal characteristics were shown to be highly related to anxiety. These included a farmer’s personality, objective set, belief in their ability to control outcomes, as well as education and age. Conclusion: This analysis provides the information required to direct counseling efforts to modify the anxiety creating personal variables and, consequently, reduce anxiety and its impact on a longer term basis.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsanxiety creating variables; anxiety impacts; coping mechanisms; farmer anxiety; quantifying anxiety; reducing anxiety; Environmental & Occupational Health; Humans; Adaptation, Psychological; Stress, Psychological; Anxiety; Personality; Agriculture; Adult; Aged; Middle Aged; New Zealand; Female; Male; Surveys and Questionnaires; Farmers; Occupational Stress
Fields of Research0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; 1605 Policy and Administration
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