ABSTRACT Objective: The purpose of this study was to propose and test an ecological model to structure research and practice concerning farmworker health in the United States. The research question was, “What is the relationship of selected social, cultural, and economic indicators to the health of adult Hispanic migrant farmworkers?”
Design: A model of biogenetic, social, cultural, economic, individual response, and access factors affecting health was derived from the literature and nursing practice. Data from the 1998 National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, were used in a secondary analysis to perform preliminary tests of the relationships proposed in the model.
Sample: The NAWS conducts interviews with a nationally representative sample of farmworkers employed in the United States. Because of the importance of theorized cultural factors, the sample for this study was limited to farmworkers who identified themselves as Hispanic, resulting in 1,864 subjects.
Measurements: Variables were used directly from the data or constructed from the available data, and proposed relationships were tested statistically.
Results: Analysis of the data supported the relationships proposed in the model.
Conclusions: The proposed model is a useful tool for organizing variables and giving direction to farmworker health research. Suggestions for future research are made.