Predictors of Job Satisfaction in Female Farmers Aged 50 and Over: Implications for Occupational Health Nurses

Cheryl D. Witt, Deborah B. Reed, Mary Kay Rayens, Sharon Hunsucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Over the past three decades, the number of female farmers in the United States has increased to nearly 1 million, yet research on this occupational group is limited. Job stress arising from job dissatisfaction in other occupations is associated with both acute and chronic diseases. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of demographic characteristics, agricultural occupational factors, and health indicators with farm-work satisfaction among female farmers. Methods: Cross-sectional data from the Sustained Work Indicators of Older Farmers Study (2002–2006) was used to examine older female farmers (N = 332) from North Carolina and Kentucky. This secondary data analysis used farm-work questions adapted from the Kentucky Farm Health and Hazard Surveillance Project to measure demographics and occupational factors, the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale to measure depressive symptoms, and a single item from the National Health Interview Survey to measure self-perceived health status. Findings: Controlling for demographic characteristics, work factors, and health indicators, the female farmers were more likely to report satisfaction with farm work when they had performed a greater number of agricultural tasks in the past year and if they had lower levels of depressive symptoms. Conclusions/Application to Practice: This study provides an initial basis for further research with women working in agriculture. Occupational health nurses, particularly those practicing in agricultural areas, can enhance their quality of care by having a greater understanding of the factors associated with farming and farm life that affect female farmers’ overall health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-532
Number of pages7
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • farm women
  • female farm operators
  • female farmers
  • job satisfaction
  • women in agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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