Background Farm environments are especially hazardous for young people. While much is known about acute physical causes of traumatic farm injury, little is known about social factors that may underlie their aetiology.
Objectives In a nationally representative sample of young Canadians aged 11–15 years, we described and compared farm and non-farm adolescents in terms of the qualities of their social environments, engagement in overt multiple risk-taking as well as how such exposures relate aetiologically to their reported injury experiences.
Methods Cross-sectional analysis of survey reports from the 2014 (Cycle 7) Canadian Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study was conducted. Children (n=2567; 2534 weighted) who reported living or working on farms were matched within schools in a 1:1 ratio with children not living or working on farms. Scales examining quality of social environments and overt risk-taking were compared between the two groups, stratified by gender. We then related the occurrence of any serious injury to these social exposures in direct and interactive models.
Results Farm and non-farm children reported social environments that were quite similar, with the exception of overt multiple risk-taking, which was demonstrably higher in farm children of both genders. Engagement in overt risk-taking, but not the other social environmental factors, was strongly and consistently associated with risks for serious injury in farm as well as non-farm children, particularly among males.
Conclusions Study findings highlight the strength of associations between overt multiple risk-taking and injury among farm children. This appears to be a normative aspect of adolescent farm culture.
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Contributors WP contributed to this manuscript as follows: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, data acquisition, codirection of the statistical analysis, codirection of interpretation of data; (2) drafted major portions of the article; (3) provided final approval of the version to be published. RLB contributed to this manuscript as follows: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, creation of the dataset for analysis, conduct and presentation of the statistical analysis, codirection of interpretation of data; (2) revised the article critically for important intellectual content; (3) provided final approval of the version to be published. BM contributed to this manuscript as follows: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, codirection of the statistical analysis, codirection of interpretation of data; (2) revised the article critically for important intellectual content; (3) provided final approval of the version to be published.
Funding The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada funded Cycle 7 of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study in Canada. Additional support for this analysis included operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (MOP 97962; PCR 101415), as well as the CDC/National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (2U54OH009568).
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Queen's University General Research Ethics Board and from Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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