Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health Services Research

Committee Director

Hadiza Galadima

Committee Member

Michele A. Kekeh

Committee Member

Sylvia Shangani


Statement of the problem: Hispanic/Latino farmworkers are at increased risk of adverse health and safety outcomes. Heightened levels of acculturative stress and the unique cultural characteristics and beliefs reported by this group increase workers’ vulnerability for adverse outcomes.

Method: The first project consisted of a systematic review examining threats to the health and safety of Hispanic/Latino agricultural workers attributable to climate change, focusing specifically on their risk for heat-related illnesses (HRI) and cultural factors and beliefs increasing workers’ vulnerability for HRI. The second project was a secondary data analysis focused on identifying potential relationships between acculturative stressors, cultural factors, and workers’ recent utilization of healthcare services in the United States. The final project was an exploratory study identifying COVID-19 associated stress experienced by a largely foreign born group of Hispanic/Latino farmworkers in North Carolina. Like the preceding projects, this study focused on acculturative stressors and cultural beliefs potentially impacting workers’ experiences with COVID-19.

Results: The first project determined that Hispanic/Latino farmworkers were indeed at increased risk for HRI. Workers occupational safety behaviors were informed by common cultural beliefs and misconceptions, increasing workers’ risk for HRI. The second project found that there were statistically significant associations between the outcome, workers’ recent utilization of healthcare services in the United States, and the predictors foreign-born status, migrant worker status, work authorization (legal work authorization versus undocumented status), reading English language proficiency, and gender. The third project found that Hispanic/Latino farmworkers surveyed struggled with some level of COVID-19 stress with roughly half of participants reporting concerns about their ability to provide for and see family members as a result of COVID-19.

Conclusion: This dissertation identified a number of cultural factors and acculturative stressors impacting Hispanic/Latino farmworkers’ health. Overall, the findings of this dissertation support the need for further research on the relationships between acculturative stressors, cultural factors, and health behaviors among Hispanic/Latino farmworkers. These relationships should be important considerations in research concerning Hispanic/Latino farmworkers.