Original Paper

Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 359-388

First online:

Anthropological and Psychological Merge: Design of a Stress Measure for Mexican Farmworkers

  • Shedra A. SnipesAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of WashingtonCenter for Studies in Demography and Ecology, University of WashingtonFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterDepartment of Health Disparities Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Email author 
  • , Beti ThompsonAffiliated withFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • , Kathleen O’ConnorAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of WashingtonCenter for Studies in Demography and Ecology, University of Washington
  • , Ruby GodinaAffiliated withFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • , Genoveva IbarraAffiliated withFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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Abstract

This study implements qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the development of a culturally appropriate instrument of stress for Mexican immigrant farmworkers. Focus groups were used to uncover culturally based perspectives on life stressors, definitions of stress, and stress mediators. Qualitative data were analyzed using QSR NVivo and then used to develop a 23-item stress scale. The scale was tested for reliability and validity in an independent sample and demonstrates excellent reliability (α = 0.9123). Test-retest coefficients of the stress scale are also strong (r = 0.8344, p = 0.0000). Qualitative analyses indicated three major sources of stress: work, family, and community. Emotional aspects of stress also emerged, demonstrating a cultural perspective of stress closely related to feelings of despair and not being able to find a way out of despairing situations. This paper reveals themes gathered from the qualitative data and identifies reliability and validity constructs associated with the scale. The stress scale developed as part of this investigation is a reliable and culturally appropriate instrument for assessing stress among Mexican immigrant farmworkers.

Keywords

Mexican Stress scale Qualitative Focus group Validation