A survey instrument, the Farm Stressor Inventory (FSI), was developed to assist in identifying and measuring stressors experienced by the principal operators of family farms in the United States. A preliminary assessment of the FSI was conducted. A review was conducted of the literature of farm family stress, data from a farmer assistance hot line in Wisconsin, and data from focus groups of farmers in Kentucky. Questionnaire items were drafted, and the drafted questionnaire was tested using a focus group of seven farmers; the farmers then discussed the questionnaire items. The questionnaire was revised based on feedback from the focus group. Sections in the questionnaire included weather and other factors, personal finances, workload, equipment, skills and abilities, hazardous tasks and experiences, characteristics of the job, geographic isolation, family, and retirement. The author suggests that, once the FSI has undergone psychometric assessments, it can be used to describe the prevalence and distribution of various stressors in the farming population.
Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 85 pages, 16 references