An Analysis of Suicide Risk Factors among Farmers in the Midwestern United States

Andrea Bjornestad, Courtney Cuthbertson, Jessie Hendricks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on the complex relationships of variables contributing to farmer suicide is limited. The purpose of the study was to examine factors associated with suicide risk through the use of standardized instruments measuring psychological (depression, anxiety), social (social support), and contextual factors. A questionnaire was completed by 600 farmers in the Midwestern United States. A multiple linear regression model was used to analyze associations with suicide risk (SBQ-R), including depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), Brief COPE subscales (BC), social support (MSPSS), and select demographic and farming characteristics. The only variable that emerged as having a significant relationship with the natural log-transformed suicide risk score was coping through self-blame. While suicidality is often considered the outcome of mental illness, our findings do not suggest that suicide risk among farmers is related to mental illness, and a further examination of self-blame as a coping strategy is warranted.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3563
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • farmer
  • farm stress
  • social support
  • self-blame coping
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • suicide
  • mental health
  • rancher
  • Mental health
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Farm stress
  • Rancher
  • Self-blame coping
  • Anxiety
  • Farmer
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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