Factors influencing exposure of children to major hazards on family farms

J Rural Health. 1997 Summer;13(3):206-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.1997.tb00844.x.


On family farms, parents are usually knowledgeable of high-risk activities, yet they allow their children to be active participants in (or bystanders to) hazardous work for reasons not well-documented. A two-phase descriptive study, based on the theory of planned behavior and using mail survey research methods, was carried out to understand factors that influence parents' decisions to expose children to major hazards on family farms. A representative sample of 1,255 Wisconsin dairy farm fathers provided data about factors that influence their decisions to expose children younger than 14 years to risks of injury. Multivariate analyses revealed that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control accounted for up to three-fourths of the variance in fathers' behavioral intentions. Fathers' attitudes were stronger predictors of behavioral intentions than subjective norms (i.e., perceived social pressure) or perceived control. Grandparents and mothers exerted a limited influence. Other groups, such as health care providers, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, and insurers, exerted only a modest influence on fathers' feelings of social pressure. Few demographic characteristics of the family or farm were predictive of fathers' intentions to expose children to hazards.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health*
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology