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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Dianna Sorenson


psychology of women in agriculture, stress psychology


The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to identify farm stressors, level of mood states, and the correlation between the two among women who participate in agriculture. Minimal research has investigated these factors among women who participate in agriculture. The demographic characteristics of finances, number of children at home, and off-the-farm employment were identified and investigated as factors of stress and mood state. Qualitative analysis was used to identify personal and farm challenges, goals, and coping skills of women participating in agriculture.
The research was conducted in a northwest Iowa county. The non-random convenience sample consisted of 156 women who completed the Farm Stress Inventory (FSl), Profile of Mood States (POMS) instruments, a demographic questionnaire, and seven open ended questions which were developed by the researcher.
The total POMS and FSI scores were not substantially higher than reported norms but the top twenty-five significantly higher than the average. Statistical analysis using multiple regression showed that working outside the home, financial status, and having one or two children at home accounted for 38% of the variance in reported stress. Stepwise regression was used to analyze the relationship between stress and mood state. Stress accounted for 49.3% of the variance in mood.
Analysis of the responses to open ended questions suggested that the greatest challenges of women who participate in agriculture are financial and time constraints. Three levels of responses to goal achievement were identified: met, adapted and unmet. The most significant coping strategy identified by the women was their faith. Implications of this study include the need to be able to efficiently identify women in need of emotional assistance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women in agriculture -- Psychology
Stress (Psychology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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