Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Plans to take up farming take root early

08.02.2005


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 Wiley’s 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 children’s future plans, and that perceptions of parental worry over the family farm’s future also affected children.


"We found that 10- to 13-year-old children in farm families do a surprising amount of work," said Wiley. "They not only reported doing two hours of farm work per day during the busy farm season, but they also did a surprising amount of work around the house year round."

"Like Glen Elder, author of the pioneering study of farm families Children of the Land, we found that mothers have a strong influence on farm children. It may be that children, as they work around the house, have more opportunity to take in their mother’s attitudes toward farming. If she is positive about farming as a career choice and a lifestyle, it may affect the child’s later decision," Wiley said.

A father’s desire for the child to work on the family farm or a child’s gender had little influence on these children’s plans, Wiley said. But almost all of the respondents reported high levels of getting along with their parents.

Wiley speculated that these good relationships could be partly attributed to the amount of time parents and children spend working side by side, in the house or in farm activities. "Children this age are unlikely to be doing farmwork alone. The more likely scenario is that they’re helping in some way, almost as apprentices," she said.

Although farm parents were careful to keep anxiety about the farm operation from their children, Wiley’s respondents picked up on it anyway. If they believed their parents were worried about the farm, there was a "let-me-make-it-better" effect, said Wiley, that led the children to plan to continue in the family business.

"They seem to have taken on a sense of responsibility from an early age that this is a family endeavor and I need to do my part," Wiley said. "Their plans to farm later may be an attempt to ease their parents’ worries and to ensure the continuance of the family enterprise."

Wiley believes her study adds to a growing body of work that shows that children benefit from doing work that matters. "When children are engaged in work that’s part and parcel of making the family function, there are some very positive aspects to that. These kids report having a tightly bonded relationship with their parents, direction for the future, and higher self-esteem.

"Seen through the eyes of their children, we have to say that many farm mothers and fathers are doing a really good in their parenting. Despite stresses and worries, they are finding time to talk and be with their children," said Wiley.

And this investment is likely to pay off in the future not only in terms of children’s development and adjustment, but also in terms of the viability of family farms, she concluded.

Phyllis Picklesimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>