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Burnout and hopelessness among farmers: The Farmers Stressors Inventory

Abstract

Background

Farming is a stressful occupation with a high rate of suicide. However, there have been relatively few studies that have examined the antecedents of stress and suicide in farmers. We also lack methodologically sound scales aimed at assessing the stressors faced by farmers.

Aims

Therefore, the purposes of this study were to develop an instrument assessing the stressors met by farmers, The Farmers Stressors Inventory, and to test its factorial structure, internal consistency and criterion validity.

Methods

First, based on the existing literature and interviews with farmers, we designed a scale containing 37 items. Then a sample of 2142 French farmers completed a questionnaire containing the 37 items along with two measures: The MBIGS that assesses burnout and the BHS that assesses hopelessness.

Results

The statistical analyses (EFA and CFA) revealed eight factors in accordance with different aspects of farmers job stressors: workload and lack of time, incertitude toward the future and the financial market, agricultural legislation pressure, social and geographical isolation, financial worry, conflicts with associates or family members, family succession of the farm, and unpredictable interference with farm work. The internal consistency of the eight subscales was satisfactory. Correlation between these eight dimensions and burnout on the one side and hopelessness on the other side support the criterion-related validity of the scale.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the MSA, Mutualité Sociale Agricole of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France. The authors express their thanks to Lucretia Boiteux, President of the MSA, and Jean-Jacques Laplante, MSA’s Occupational Doctor.

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Correspondence to Didier Truchot.

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Truchot, D., Andela, M. Burnout and hopelessness among farmers: The Farmers Stressors Inventory. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 53, 859–867 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-018-1528-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-018-1528-8

Keywords

  • Farmers
  • Stressors
  • Burnout
  • Hopelessness
  • Instrument development