Youth risky behavior around tractors - influence of significant others (father, mother and friends).
J Agromed 2010 Jul; 15(3):323
Injury and death rates of youth in farms in the US are particularly high. Operating a tractor on the farm is one of the most basic, yet extremely risky practices. Machinery (tractors) is the leading cause of fatal farm injuries to youth less than 20 years of age. This study explores whether youth's adoption of on farm safety practices is related to perceived support for engaging in those behaviors from significant others including parents and friends. This paper presents preliminary data from a youth farm injury prevention research study funded by NIOSH. Sixty farm families participated. Youth ages ranged from 10 through 19 years. Regression analysis revealed youth who thought their friends would think less of them if they practiced certain safety behaviors related to tractors; were more likely to engage in unsafe (risky) behaviors while working around tractors on farms. Unsafe tractor behaviors included operating ROPS tractor without a seatbelt, dismounting a tractor with tractor running or with key in ignition, giving someone a ride on tractor, starting a tractor while not in an operator's seat and, doing work on tractor without doing a safety check. The results further revealed that for youth whose parents (fathers and mothers) placed a high premium on practicing safe tractor-related behaviors on the farm, the youth had lesser intentions, and were far less likely to indulge in risky behaviors around tractors. Regression was significant for the hypothesis that importance placed by parents on safety behaviors negatively affected youth risky behaviors related to tractors. The study reconfirms the role of parents as role models for youth. Results highlight the notion that parents need to give proper guidance to youth, model safe behaviors themselves and set family rules around safe practices related to tractor operations. Further implications of results will be discussed.
Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Humans; Adolescents; Tractors; Risk-factors; Children; Machine-operation; Farmers; Behavior; Safety-practices
Journal of Agromedicine
University of Georgia