The Farmers Stressors Inventory. Antecedents of burnout and depression among farmers


  • D. Truchot
  • M. Andela


Background : Farming is a stressfull occupation with a high rate of suicide. However, few studies have been conducted on the antecedents of stress, burnout and suicide among farmers. In addition, we lack a methodologically sound instrument for assessing farmers' stressors. Method : Based on the literature and interviews with farmers, we designed a scale of 58 stressors. Then, we designed a questionnaire including the stressors, and, interalia, a measure of burnout, the MBI-GS, and a measure of depression (the Beck Hopelessness Scale), which can be used as a suicidal risk indicator. Findings : 2142 French farmers answered our questionnaire. In order to test the factor structure of the scale and observe if it could be replicated, we split our sample into two equal groups. The first group was subjected to an exploratory factor analysis, while the second group was subjected to a confirmatory factor analysis. The analysis revealed eight factors (all Cronbach alpha >.70) : legislation pressure, workload, uncertainty about the future, physical isolation, financial concerns, conflicts with associates, meteorology and technical problems, family transmission of the farm. Regression analyzes revealed that workload and financial concerns are related to burnout and depression. Isolation and conflicts are associated with burnout but not depression. On the other hand, incertitude about the future is associated with depression but not burnout. Consequently, burnout and depression are not necessarily associated with the same factors. We will discuss the results according to their theoretical and practical implications.