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

Toni Alterman, Susan Gabbard, Joseph G. Grzywacz, Rui Shen, Jia Li, Jorge Nakamoto, Daniel J. Carroll, Carles Muntaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1364-1373
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 13


  • Decision latitude
  • Farm workers
  • Immigrant
  • Job control
  • Job demands
  • Job stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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