Coping with Stress

Stress and Coping Related to Drought For Rural Families

Nebraska, as well as other states in central U.S., is experiencing an extreme drought. Compared to other natural disasters such as floods or pests, drought conditions are more long-term and more difficult to cope for farmers and their families (Bosch, Griffin, Meek, and Rossman, 2002). Farm and farming means an income, a lifestyle, and a home to many farmers (Cloke, 1996), but prolonged drought has put an increased risk on farm sustainability for farmers and families. The loss of a farm can be a traumatic experience and means a major change in lifestyle, place of residency, and the end of family business (Boeckner, Bosch, and Johnston, 2003). As Bosch and colleagues suggested, farmers and their families are affected by drought in many ways - financially, emotionally and physically.

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