Stress and Sociocultural Factors Related to Health Status Among US–Mexico Border Farmworkers


This study examines factors relating to farmworkers’ health status from sociocultural factors, including stress embedded within their work and community contexts. A cross-sectional household survey of farmworkers (N = 299) included social-demographics, immigration status descriptors, and a social-ecologically grounded, community-responsive, stress assessment. Outcomes included three standard US national surveillance measures of poor mental, physical, and self-rated health (SRH). Logistic regression models showed that higher levels of stress were significantly associated (Ps < .001) with increased risk for poor mental health and poor physical health considering all variables. Stress was not associated with SRH. Regarding two of the three outcomes, mental health and physical health, stress added explanatory power as expected. For poor SRH, a known marker for mortality risk and quite high in the sample at 38 %, only age was significantly associated. Clinical and systems-level health promotion strategies may be required to mitigate these stressors in border-residing farmworkers.

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This project was funded by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (R21OH008747) to the University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH). This was a community-based project whose institutional partners were the University of Arizona (MEZCOPH and the Binational Migration Institute, Department of Mexican American Studies), Campesinos Sin Fronteras, and Derechos Humanos. The authors are grateful to the farmworkers and promotor/promotoras whose participation made this project a success.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Scott C. Carvajal.

Additional information

Joel Meister is deceased. He was at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health during the initial phases of this study.

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Carvajal, S.C., Kibor, C., McClelland, D.J. et al. Stress and Sociocultural Factors Related to Health Status Among US–Mexico Border Farmworkers. J Immigrant Minority Health 16, 1176–1182 (2014).

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  • Farmworkers
  • Sociocultural factors
  • Discrimination
  • Latinos
  • Stress and health