Journal of immigrant and minority health

Evaluating Job Demands and Control Measures for Use in Farm Worker Health Surveillance.

PMID 25138138


Workplace stress likely plays a role in health disparities; however, applying standard measures to studies of immigrants requires thoughtful consideration. The goal of this study was to determine the appropriateness of two measures of occupational stressors ('decision latitude' and 'job demands') for use with mostly immigrant Latino farm workers. Cross-sectional data from a pilot module containing a four-item measure of decision latitude and a two-item measure of job demands were obtained from a subsample (N = 409) of farm workers participating in the National Agricultural Workers Survey. Responses to items for both constructs were clustered toward the low end of the structured response-set. Percentages of responses of 'very often' and 'always' for each of the items were examined by educational attainment, birth country, dominant language spoken, task, and crop. Cronbach's α, when stratified by subgroups of workers, for the decision latitude items were (0.65-0.90), but were less robust for the job demands items (0.25-0.72). The four-item decision latitude scale can be applied to occupational stress research with immigrant farm workers, and potentially other immigrant Latino worker groups. The short job demands scale requires further investigation and evaluation before suggesting widespread use.