Farming struggles and triumphs: the effects of a unique business structure

McShane, Connar, Quirk, Frances, and Swinbourne, Anne (2009) Farming struggles and triumphs: the effects of a unique business structure. In: Proceedings of the 10th National Rural Health Conference. From: 10th National Rural Health Conference, 17-20 May 2009, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Exploring the determinants of good mental health in rural communities is becoming a prominent issue, specifically when examining farming families. Farming stressors are constantly evolving with changes in weather patterns and government legislation adding to the many challenges that farming families face. Researching the mental health issues surrounding farming families can be valuable to all Australians as farming is a primary industry and impeding the decline in the number of farming families would ultimately benefit the economy. Limited research has been conducted into the decline of farming families as well as the negative effects that working as a primary producer might have on the farming families' mental health. Particularly, this issue needs to be explored as farming related suicide rates are more than twice that of Australian males in general. This research aims to investigate the unique organisational structure of the farming family as a factor affecting the mental health of farming families. Previous research conducted by the principal investigator in 2007 provided support for farmers presenting a unique work-home interface, for though they operate in a business structure that is similar to home-based workers, farmers' present conflict styles that are more similar to work-based workers. There has been limited research conducted into the effects that home and work inter-role conflict would have upon farming families, as well as the coping strategies employed, and stressors of most concern that are relevant to farmers of Australia. Therefore, the primary aim of this project is to adapt, develop and validate measures that assess the work-home interface, coping strategies, and stressors of farming families of Australia. Furthermore, personality characteristics, values, and lifestyle will be investigated. Through these variables it is hoped that effective coping strategies can be outlined to assist those who are in the industry to remain in the industry; to outline the benefits of the lifestyle to encourage new entrants to the industry; and to indentify possible predictive factors of poor mental health in farming families of Australia. Qualitative data derived from semi-structured interviews with farming families across Queensland and South/South-Eastern Australia between October 2008 and January 2009 will be reported. The interviews encouraged participant families to discuss their work and homes roles, stressors, coping strategies, values, and lifestyle.

Item ID: 35078
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-1-921219-15-3
ISSN: 1445-3363
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 02:01
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology @ 60%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 50%
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