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Work and Health Among Latina Mothers in Farmworker Families

Arcury, Thomas A. PhD; Trejo, Grisel MPH; Suerken, Cynthia K. MS; Grzywacz, Joseph G. PhD; Ip, Edward H. PhD; Quandt, Sara A. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 3 - p 292–299
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000351
Original Articles

Background: Work organization is important for the health of vulnerable workers, particularly women. This analysis describes work organization for Latinas in farmworker families and delineates the associations of work organization with health indicators.

Methods: Up to 220 Latina women in farmworker families completed interviews from October 2012 to July 2013. Interviews addressed job structure, job demand, job control, and job support. Health measures included stress, depressive symptoms, physical activity, family conflict, and family economic security.

Results: Three fifths of the women were employed. Several work organization dimensions, including shift, psychological demand, work safety climate, and benefits, were associated with participant health as expected, on the basis of the work organization and job demands-control-support models.

Conclusions: Research should address women's health and specific work responsibilities. Occupational safety policy must consider the importance of work organization in the health of vulnerable workers.

From the Department of Family and Community Medicine (Dr Arcury), Center for Worker Health; Department of Epidemiology and Prevention (Ms Trejo and Dr Quandt), Division of Public Health Sciences; Department of Biostatistical Sciences (Ms Suerken and Dr Ip), Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC; and Department of Human Development & Family Science (Dr Grzywacz), Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

Address correspondence to: Thomas A. Arcury, PhD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157 (

Funding: Grant R01-HD059855 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Conflict of interest: None.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine