Broadening Our Understanding of Farm Children’s Risk Exposure by Considering Their Parents’ Farming Background

Florence Becot, Casper Bendixsen, Kathrine Barnes, Josie Rudolphi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While farm safety researchers have seldom considered the association between farm parents’ background and their children’s safety, researchers who have compared first- and multi-generation farmers have found differences that may shape safety outcomes. We draw on the farm safety and family farm bodies of literature and a survey of 203 United States farm parents to assess the role of farming background in farm children risk exposure. Exploratory in nature, the bivariate analysis revealed no statistically significant differences between first- and multi-generation farmers in children injury, agricultural safety perceptions, knowledge, and practices but revealed differences in key demographic characteristics and parenting styles. A range of factors likely explain these findings with meso- and macro-level factors likely impacting farm parents’ ability to adopt safety practices. In contrast to the emphasis on knowledge and behaviors, we call for the integration of lived realities in farm safety research and to do so in a way that connects realities and choices to larger contexts. We also call on the need to expand the toolkit of interventions to address meso- and macro-level factors. A shift towards addressing social and economic conditions in agriculture could reduce farm children’s injuries while supporting the sustainability of farm labor systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5218
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2021


  • farm children
  • socialization and social norms
  • social and economic factors
  • parenting
  • farm safety beliefs and adoption of practices
  • farming background
  • risk exposure
  • Parenting
  • Social and economic factors
  • Farming background
  • Farm safety beliefs and adoption of practices
  • Farm children
  • Risk exposure
  • Socialization and social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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