Use of the North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks with Hmong Farm Families

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Shutske, John M.;
  • Olson, Debra K.;
  • Rasmussen, Ruth C.;
  • Schermann, Michele


This literature review synthesizes available studies on Hmong agricultural practices, patterns of childhood growth and development of Hmong children in the context of injury prevention, and potential application or adaptation of the North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (Lee and Marlenga, 1999) for Hmong children working in the U.S. Data from qualitative interviews, focus groups, case studies, and surveys were collected, categories were determined, and themes were identified. Field tools and practices, gender roles, and reasons for farming were examined, as well as physical and cognitive development of Hmong children and Hmong parenting techniques to describe factors related to farm task assignment of children. Current agricultural practices of Hmong in the U.S. can be described as generally small-scale operations that use mainly hand tools, manual labor, and local direct-marketing techniques. Specific practices include thinning, weeding, and hoeing; carrying tools, buckets, or baskets; setting plant supports; and watering. Hmong children appear to be given greater amounts of responsibility at earlier ages than North American children. Hmong parenting practices, as would be used in task assignment, are somewhat more authoritarian-based and lead to psychosocial skills that are more group-oriented than individual-oriented. Hmong children were found to be shorter than children in the U.S. of the same ages. This review suggests that the NAGCAT cannot be literally translated and disseminated to Hmong farming families as an injury prevention intervention. Further information is needed about what farm tasks Hmong children do and how Hmong parents assign those tasks to children.

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