Mental wellbeing of children engaged in agricultural work activities and quality of family environment
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Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Family Psychology, Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Corresponding author
Stanisław Lachowski   

Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2007;14(1):115-121
A considerable percentage of Polish children from agricultural families are engaged by their parents in performing work activities on farms. The performance of these tasks arouses various emotional reactions in children, from the feeling of threat, fear and anxiety, to the feeling of satisfaction, being contented and proud. The subjective feeling happiness and life satisfaction is an extremely important factor affecting the mental health and functioning of a human being. The objective of the study was to show to what extent the quality of communication between children and parents, and the level of family cohesion and adaptability according to the Circumplex Model by D. H. Olson et al., modifi es children’s emotional reactions associated with the tasks performed. The study covered 192 children aged 12-13, whose parents were running a family farm. Growing up in a healthy family characterised by a balanced level of cohesion, adaptability and good communication with the father and mother, favours the occurrence in children of pleasant emotions in reaction to work which they undertake on behalf of their parents on a farm. In such families, more often than in families with bad communication and dysfunctional families (disengaged, rigid), children experience satisfaction, have a feeling of deepening bonds with their parents, and the feeling of being more adult and preparing themselves well for adult life. Family characteristics which are evidence of disorders in its functioning (lack of good communication with the father, mother, lack of bonds between family members, rigid, chaos in a family) co-occur with the child experiencing unpleasant emotional states in associated with the work performed, there occur feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, unpleasantness, the feeling that it would be better to learn than to work.
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