Poster – Yanni Liang

Organizational Resources and Social Support Influences on Stress and Depression: A Comparison among Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Farmers.

Yanni Liang, University of Iowa; Kai Wang, PhD, University of Iowa; Carri Casteel, PhD, University of Iowa; Brandi Janssen, PhD, University of Iowa; Matthew Nonnenmann, PhD, University of Iowa; Diane S. Rohlman, PhD, University of Iowa.

Yanni Liang is a graduate fellow at the Heartland Center at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, with a research interest in farmers’ mental health.

Discuss this presentation with the authors on Thursday, November 11 from noon – 12:30 on the Zoom Live-stream.


Background: Social connectedness has been shown to reduce depression and suicide among the general population but its impact on farmers is less well-known. Social connectedness encompasses relationships with groups, organizational resource, and social support. Our previous research indicated that farmers who had resources from cooperatives and social support reported decreased symptoms of depression. However, it was unclear whether mental health among farmers differed by cooperative membership, programs used, program satisfaction, and social support.      Methods: A survey was conducted to examine the impacts of cooperative membership, programs used, program satisfaction, and social support on perceived stress and symptoms of depression among Midwest farmers.   Results: Cooperative farmers reported lower perceived stress and symptoms of depression than non-cooperative farmers and the difference was statistically significant for perceived stress. Programs used had limited impact on mental health, except that the use of educational programs was associated with decreased perceived stress. Satisfaction across programs and social support were associated with decreased perceived stress and symptoms of depression.       Conclusions: Results reveal that organizational resources and social support can mitigate mental health risks among farmers. This study highlighted an opportunity for future investigation of social connectedness in farmers’ mental health.

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