What influences a child to choose a career on the family farm, and when is that decision made? A new University of Illinois study of pre-teen farm youth suggests that the foundations for this life choice are set early and that maternal influence, rather than paternal expectations, may be key.
Although previous studies have focused on high-school-aged youth, Angela Wileys training in child development led her to believe farm kids would be influenced toward or against farming earlier than that. "Research implies that an important life decision such as this would be rooted in the early activities, education, and relationships of farm children," she said.
Wiley, an assistant professor in human development and family studies, surveyed 40 farm children aged 10 to 13 and also interviewed their parents. She found that children who did more work at home were more likely to plan to farm, that mothers had more influence than fathers on farm childrens future plans, and that perceptions of parental worry over the family farms future also affected children.
Phyllis Picklesimer | EurekAlert!
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