Internal locus of control buffers the impact of daily stressors on Australian Farmers' well‐being: A cross‐sectional study in Australian Journal of Rural Health

Rachael Smallwood BPshychSc (Hons)1, Adam Curcio2, Amanda L. Rebar PhD1

2Resource Consulting Services Pty Ltd.(RCS), Yeppoon, Qld.


Objective: Farmers are prone to poor well- being and are at higher risks of suicide than the general population. The aim of this study was to understand whether the negative impact of daily stressors on Australian farmers’ well- being could be buffered through a strong internal locus of control – a strong sense of control over what happens in life.

Methods: Australian farmers self- reported their well- being, daily stress, and locus of control.

Design: Cross- sectional via pen- and- paper survey.
Setting: Participants completed the surveys at the beginning of agricultural man-agement training courses.

Participants: Australian farmers (N = 129, M age = 39 ± 12 years, 54.7% male). Main Outcome Measures: Internal and external locus of control, daily stress, and subjective well- being.

Results: More daily stressors were associated to poorer well- being, regardless of external locus of control; however, farmers with a stronger internal locus of control were buffered from the negative impacts of daily stressors. That is, daily stressors were not significantly associated with well- being for farmers with a strong internal locus of control.

Conclusions: Internal locus of control may be a significant factor in supporting good well- being for farmers. Further research should investigate how to enhance internal locus of control amongst this population. It may be that interventions to enhance internal locus of control in farmers could improve their well- being and productivity, good outcomes for the individual farmers, and global society overall.

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