This study tests basic predictions from the demands-control model of occupational stress in Latino immigrant farmworkers. Cross-sectional data were obtained from 151 farmworkers in eastern North Carolina via face-to-face interviews conducted in Spanish during the summer of 2005. Results suggest that farmwork is characterized by low psychological demand and low control, or that it is a "passive job." Multivariate analyses provided little support for predictions. Isometric load, an indicator of physical job demands reflecting how frequently workers maintain awkward postures for long periods, was associated with poorer physical health, and high worker control was associated with better mental health. However, pace of work, an indicator of psychological job demand, was unassociated with physical and mental health, and physical exertion, another indicator of physical job demand, was not robustly associated with health outcomes. The results suggest that core predictions from the demands-control model do not hold for immigrant farmworkers, and they foreshadow possible ways of refining the model.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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