Creating and strengthening knowledge in agricultural medicine and rural health farming struggles and triumphs: the effects of a unique business environment

McShane, Connar, and Quirk, Frances (2010) Creating and strengthening knowledge in agricultural medicine and rural health farming struggles and triumphs: the effects of a unique business environment. In: Proceedings of the International Congress of Agricultural Medicine and Rural Health (5) p. 126. From: 17th International Congress of Agricultural Medicine and Rural Health, 13-16 October 2009, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

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Abstract

The number of farming families in Australia has been declining for the last 20 years. Climate change, government legislation and policies are adding to the challenges. This study investigated the impact of work-family role conflict on farming family well-being, effective coping strategies and positive aspects of lifestyle. As available assessment tools aren't culturally relevant, an additional aim was to develop measures of work-family conflict, stressors, and coping strategies for Australia.

The first stage involved semi-structured interviews of farming families (N=30) from across Queensland and South-Eastern Australia. Interviews were audio-recorded and qualitatively analyzed to identify items relevant to the following areas: lifestyle, work-home interface, stressors, coping. The second stage distributed this candidate pool of items to members of farming families (N=200) to assess their relevance and importance to this population. Preliminary results from interviews indicate lifestyle and good relationships are strong buffers for stress. Role ambiguity and property partnerships contributed to family conflict and dissatisfaction. Coping strategies included spending time with family, friends, and social drinking. Families perceive themselves as socially isolated from the Australian public and government due to their chosen occupation. There is a perception changes in the industry have had a negative impact on community connectedness, support, and gatherings, which has impacted negatively on satisfaction and lifestyle.

The number of farming families is decreasing and the industry is becoming increasingly difficult for farms to remain sustainable, yet some remain though primarily for lifestyle and children. The development of measures to assess stress and coping can help identify good and poor practices for farming families of Australia, giving guidance for those struggling and those considering entering the industry.

Item ID: 24966
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1880-4888
Keywords: work-family conflict; farming families; lifestyle; stress; well-being; coping
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Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2013 05:33
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920504 Occupational Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 50%
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