Does the Perception of Psychosocial Factors Increase the Risk of Pesticide Exposure among Seasonal Hispanic Farmworkers?

DL Levesque, AA Arif


Background: Migrant farmworkers are prone to several psychosocial stressors.

Objective: To investigate the effect of perceived psychosocial factors on pesticide exposure among seasonal migrant Hispanic farmworkers in North Carolina, USA.

Methods: A cross-sectional interview survey of 187 seasonal migrant farmworkers of Mexican descent, identified from labor camps located in rural counties in North Carolina, was conducted using nonprobability purposive sampling approach. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between perceived control over the harmful effects of pesticide exposure, lack of social support, and the impact of anxiety on perception of pesticide exposure.

Results: More than 20% (n=39) of farmworkers reported frequent or constant contact with pesticides while working in the fields. More than 68% of farmworkers reported they believe they have control over avoiding harmful effects of pesticide exposure; the odds of pesticide exposure were 55% lower in this group (adjusted OR: 0.45; 95% CI: 0.22–0.91). No significant relationship was observed between farmworkers perception of lack of social support and presence of anxiety with odds of on-field pesticide exposure.

Conclusion: The study results suggest that perception of control is an important predictor of reduced pesticide exposure among seasonal migrant farmworkers.


Psychology; Risk factors; Behavior; Occupational exposure; Chemically-induced disorders; Hispanic Americans; Safety

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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