Health Risk Behaviors and Work Injury among Hispanic Adolescents and Farmworkers

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Cooper, Sharon P.;
  • Pérez, Adriana;
  • Roberts, Robert E.;
  • Sanderson, Maureen;
  • Vela Acosta, Martha S.


Adolescents may engage in health risk behaviors that increase their likelihood of injury. Employment places adolescents at risk of work-related injuries. This study responds to the paucity of data on the relationship between adolescent health risk behaviors and work-related injury. This cross-sectional study included the administration of anonymous surveys to ninth graders (N = 4,914) who attended high schools in south Texas. An aggregate risk score (ARS) was developed based on health risk behaviors. The ARS was analyzed as an outcome using linear regression. Associations between health risk behaviors and work-related injury were assessed with logistic regression. Of the respondents, 19% reported they had a job, and 14% reported that they had been employed in farmwork. Farmwork-related injury was reported by 9% of adolescents, and 12% reported other work-related injury. Mean ARS scores were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for both male and female adolescents who reported a work-related injury compared to nonworking adolescents, and for males who had done migrant farmwork compared to all other adolescent males. The ARS increased as hours worked per week increased. After controlling for confounding factors, a statistically significant association was found between ARS and non-farmwork, work-related injury, but not between ARS and farmwork-related injury. Farmworkers with high ARS were more likely to report non-farmwork, work-related injuries. The predictors of work-related injury in the adolescent groups, particularly for farmworkers and migrants who are under additional stress, remain an important occupational health area to be addressed.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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