Factors associated with agricultural work performed by adolescents from an immigrant farm worker population (MICASA study)

Tamara E. Hennessy-Burt, Maria T. Stoecklin-Marois, Stephen A Mccurdy, Marc B Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While studies have looked at the relationship of adolescent employment with health outcomes and risk behaviors, few have focused on children of hired farm workers. These children face unique challenges affecting their health and work environment. Exploring the frequency and nature of agricultural work characteristics among adolescent children of Hispanic hired farm workers is important for assessing the potential risks they face. Methods: MICASA is a population-based study of settled immigrant Hispanic farm working families in Mendota, California. We selected a cross-sectional random sample of adolescents (ages 11 to 18). Interviews assessed work history, place of birth, and acculturation. Results: 38% of participants were female and 62% were male; 55% were born in the U.S., 38% in Mexico, and 7% in El Salvador; and 49% worked for pay during the last year. Among those who worked, farm work was most frequently reported (73.5%). Among those who had done farm work, the mean age at initiation was 14 years, and they worked a mean of 4.3 weeks during the previous year. Hoeing, picking, and packing/sorting were the most common tasks. In models adjusted for age and sex, lowacculturated adolescents were more likely than moderately acculturated to have worked in the past 12 months, to start work younger than age 14 years, and to do farm work. Significance: Farm work is common among adolescents in this Hispanic agricultural community and is strongly associated with foreign birth and low acculturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Agriculture
  • Child labor
  • Children
  • Employment
  • Farm workers
  • Latino
  • Teenage
  • Workers
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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