Human Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Environmental Stressors, Perceived Control, and Health: The Case of Residents Near Large-Scale Hog Farms in Eastern North Carolina

  • Susan Bullers


This study first explores the physical and psychological health effects of residence near industrial hog farms. The study compares differences in specific health symptoms, psychological distress, and perceived control between a group of 48 nearby residents and a control group (n = 34) with no exposure to hog farms. The process through which nearby residence affects psychological distress is then explored by examining for mediating effects of either physical health symptoms or perceived control. Findings suggest that nearby residence is associated with increases in 12 of the 22 reported physical symptoms. Most of these significantly different symptoms are related to respiratory, sinus, and nausea problems. Nearby residence is also associated with increased psychological distress and decreased perceptions of control. Nearby residence appears to affect psychological distress by increasing physical health symptoms. Although nearby residents report significantly lower perceived control, perceived control does not play a significant role in the process through which nearby residence affects psychological distress.


agricultural pollution health psychological distress perceived control 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmington

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