The relaxed livestock farmer: The effect of coping strategies and leisure activities on farmer wellbeing and stress
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/16081
Farmers experience higher levels of stress and low wellbeing compared to non-farmers. This can be attributed to experiencing general stressors, such as interpersonal disagreements, and farm-specific stressors, such as severe weather events. Previous research has found coping strategies reduce stress and improve wellbeing. However, it is not known how coping strategies and leisure activities affect the wellbeing and stress of farmers in Aotearoa New Zealand. The research questions explored what leisure activities farmers use to unwind, how leisure activities and coping strategies affected wellbeing, and whether coping strategies moderated the relationship between stressors, wellbeing, and stress. 131 participants completed a questionnaire measuring wellbeing, stress, coping, leisure, and farm stressors. A content analysis grouped leisure activities and barriers into meaningful groups. A paired samples t-test found farmers significantly prefer to engage in more leisure activities than they engaged in currently. A hierarchical regression found the coping strategies, behavioural disengagement (b = 2.18, t = -3.48, p < .01) and self-blame (b = -0.81, t = -2.01, p = .05), significantly and negatively predicted wellbeing. Finally, a moderation analysis found Social Coping moderated the relationships between farming finance and wellbeing (ΔR2 = .06, F(3, 112) = 8.39, p < .01), isolation and wellbeing (ΔR2 = .03, F(3, 112) = 4.12, p = .05), and social satisfaction and wellbeing (ΔR2 = .05, F(3, 117) = 8.20, p < .01). Dysfunctional Coping moderated the relationship between time pressure and wellbeing (ΔR2 = .05, F(3, 103) = 8.52, p < .01) and time pressure and stress (ΔR2 = .05, F(3, 105) = 10.47, p < .01). In conclusion, improving coping strategies, particularly social coping, may increase wellbeing among farmers.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses