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Perceptions of Stress Associated With Wives' Off-Farm Employment

Perceptions of Stress Associated With Wives' Off-Farm Employment

Abstract

A random sample of 323 Midwestern farm couples responded to a questionnaire designed to measure various aspects of family functioning, including lifestyle satisfaction and dyadic adjustment as well as perceptions of stress and coping strategies utilized. Although 96 percent of the women identified themselves as farmers, 38 percent were employed off the farm. In general, the farm couples reported high satisfaction with their lifestyle; however, stress was also a fre quently reported experience. Although employed farm women were significantly higher in their reported experience with stress than those not employed off the farm, neither employment status nor number of hours employed were directly related to wives' perceptions of marital and life satisfaction. Rather, it was those husbands and wives in the high-stress category, regardless of employment status, who reported significantly lower lifestyle satisfaction and marital adjustment. Family life professionals are encouraged to respond with appropriate program ming for rural families at risk of experiencing high stress.
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