Depressive Symptoms of Latinx Women in Rural Farmworker and Urban Non-Farmworker Families in North Carolina

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Dec;9(6):2351-2360. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01172-8. Epub 2021 Oct 25.


Background: Mental health among low-income Latinx women in the United States (US), including those in farmworker families, is a health equity concern. This analysis (1) describes the depressive symptoms among Latinx women in rural farmworker families and urban non-farmworker families and (2) delineates immigration and acculturation, family composition and disruption, and financial characteristics associated with depressive symptoms experienced by these women.

Methods: Data are from a 2019-2020 cross-sectional survey of 66 rural farmworker and 52 urban non-farmworker women with a child participating in a study of pesticide exposure and neurocognitive development. Depressive symptoms were measured with the CES-D Short Form.

Results: The median (25th-75th percentiles) depressive symptom score reported was 2.0 (1.0-4.0), with 10 (8.5%) women having depressive symptom scores of 10 or greater. In bivariate analysis, among immigration and acculturation characteristics, women born in the USA and who spoke English fluently had lower depressive symptom scores. Among family composition and disruption characteristics, married women, and those with two adults in the household had lower depressive symptom scores. No financial status characteristic had statistically significant associations with depressive symptom score. In multivariate analysis, rural farmworker women had an expected median score one point lower than did urban non-farmworker women.

Conclusion: Addressing mental health among immigrant women, particularly those in farmworker families, is a complex undertaking. Rural versus urban locality provides a context for mental health. Determining the proximal determinants of locality requires further analysis.

Keywords: Health equity; Mental health; Occupational health; Rural health; Women’s health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agriculture*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression*
  • Farmers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • United States / epidemiology