Development of an instrument to assess stress, depression, and coping among Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers

BACKGROUND: Few assessments of stress and depression have been developed and validated for use with the Latino migrant and seasonal farmworker (MSFW) population, and very little research has been conducted to identify the coping mechanisms used by MSFWs to deal with these psychological issues. PURPOSE: The purpose was to develop a culturally sensitive survey instrument to assess stress, depression, and coping behaviors in Latino MSFWs. DESIGN/ METHODS: Researchers utilized a comprehensive instrument design framework to develop and pilot test the instrument. A principal component analysis with direct oblimin rotation determined item measurement. Alpha reliability coefficients were calculated for subscales. FINDINGS: Five factors related to stress, depression, and coping were extracted: Financial, Family Stress; Physical, Work, Societal Stress; Lack of Documentation and Resources; Depression; Locus of Control. This resulted in a final 90-item survey instrument, with seventy-five items measuring stress, depression and coping, and fifteen demographic questions. CONCLUSIONS: The resulting instrument contributes to the on-going research in assessment of mental health in MSFWs.