The changing economic character of American agriculture is producing more than just surplus crops, it is also producing measurable increases in stress. This stress is a consequence of the faltering economic conditions in rural America (Cogner et. al,, 1986; Farmer, 1986), which has significant implications for the well-being of our rural population. Long term depression, increased suicide rates, family strain and violence are all results of this economic change (Farmer, 1986). Faraer (1986), characterized the rural sector as financially, emotionally, and socially troubled. These troubles are directly linked to the economic crisis rural America is experiencing. Social scientists and mental health professionals have expressed concern about the effects of the rural crisis on the farm population. Excessive and widespread financial difficulties have promoted increased concern which has led to psychological stress. The concept of "stress" is a generic term usually associated with mental tension or strain. For all its popularity, the term has only recently found its way into the medical vocabulary. One of the primary reasons for this omission has been the lack of an adequate or standardized definition of the concept (Wallis,1983). Empirical indicators of stress have ranged from migraine headaches and stomach cramps, to insomnia, lethargy, and confusion. Consequently, few studies operationalize stress the same way.
Kettner, Kevin A.; Geller, Jack M.; Ludtke, RIchard; and Kelly, Janet
"Economic Hardship and Stress among Farm Operators in North Dakota: The Suffering Effect of Social Support,"
Great Plains Sociologist: Vol. 1:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://openprairie.sdstate.edu/greatplainssociologist/vol1/iss1/6