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Convergence between father and youth reports of high risk safety behaviours on the farm
  1. Z Stoneman*,
  2. H Jinnah-Ghelani*
  1. Correspondence IHDD/University of Georgia, 850 College Station Rd., Athens, GA, 30607, USA

Abstract

Parents assign dangerous farm work to children. Injury and death rates in the Southern USA are high with 40% of US farm youth fatalities (Adekoya and Pratt, 2001) and 30% of youth injuries (NASS, 2001). It is important to understand the degree of similarity in data obtained from youth and their fathers about high-risk behaviours of youth. This study examined reports of 86 farm youth and their fathers about the youths engagement in 25 high risk behaviours. Youth were aged 10–16; when families had more than one child, the youth who was most involved in farming participated in the study. There were significant differences between father and youth reports; fathers markedly underestimated risky behaviours engaged in by youth. For example, only 1% of fathers believed that their child had engaged in the extremely dangerous behaviour of stepping over a running PTO; 11% of youth had done this. Only 8% of fathers believed that the youth had operated a tractor on a steep slope; 66% of youth had done so; 21% of fathers believed youth had operated a tractor near a ditch or creek, 86% of youth had done so; 33% of fathers believed youth had operated a tractor at night, 69% of youth had done so; 59% of fathers believed youth had operated a tractor on a public road, 90% of youth had done so. Youth reported operating tractors at much younger ages than did fathers. Methodological implications of findings are discussed, as are recommendations for safety interventions.

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