Psychosocial stressors associated with Mexican migrant farmworkers in the midwest United States

J Immigr Health. 2003 Apr;5(2):75-86. doi: 10.1023/a:1022955825650.


Although estimates suggest that there are upwards of 5 million migrant farmworkers in the United States, scant research has explored the stressors associated with their lifestyle. Contrary to previous work, the present study directly explored migrant farmworkers' own perceptions of what is difficult in their lives. The purposes of the present study were to qualitatively explore, from a phenomenological standpoint, the stressors associated with living as a migrant farmworker in the Midwest United States; and to determine the stressors that were most strongly related to symptoms of anxiety and depression. The findings indicated that 18 stressors were commonly experienced by the migrant farmworkers and that the farmworkers experienced overall elevated levels of anxiety and depression. A number of stressors that were not previously reported in the literature were identified. The stressors of "rigid work demands" and "poor housing conditions" were significantly associated with higher levels of anxiety and "low family income/living in poverty" and "rigid work demands" were significantly associated with depression. Implications of findings and prevention strategies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agriculture*
  • Anxiety / ethnology
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Occupational Health*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology*
  • Workforce