208823 Perceptions of stress, depression, and coping mechanisms among Latino migrant farmworkers in eastern North Carolina

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sloane C. Burke, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Beth Chaney, PhD, CHES , Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Robin C. Rager, PhD , Optimum Health Management, Greenville, NC
Among the more than 4 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States, who are predominantly from Mexico and other Latin American countries, many work and live in isolated locations, under very demanding conditions. Additionally, these workers tend to have limited access to medical care or mental health resources. These factors, combined with language and culture differences, low education levels, and separation from families in home countries, increase the risk for stress and depression. Limited research has been conducted concerning these mental health issues in this workforce, particularly among those located in the rural, eastern part of the U.S. In addition, little is known about the coping mechanisms among these workers. North Carolina serves as a residential home base and migration stream state for a large number of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. In this study, the nature of stress, depression, and coping in a sample of immigrant and migrant farmworkers located in eastern North Carolina were assessed via focus group interviews. Major themes emerged from the focus group interviews, including physical work stress, personal mental stress, depression, and stress and depression coping behaviors. Cultural sub-themes, including lack of documentation, lack of driver's license, language barriers, and separation from family in their home country, emerged as well. From the study findings, strategies for addressing the mental health disparities of these farmworkers were identified, including recommendations for effective and culturally appropriate stress and depression assessment, prevention, and treatment programs for these at-risk workers, as well as opportunities for future research.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participants will be able to: Identify sources of stress and depression among migrant and immigrant farmworkers that may impact their health and wellness. Identify personal mechanisms migrant and immigrant farmworkers use to cope with their stress and depression. Describe potential culturally appropriate, targeted programs for stress and depression for this at-risk population.

Keywords: Latino, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Author has over 6 years of research experience with migrant and farmworker health, Latino health, health disparities, and qualitiative research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.