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Abstract

The current farm crisis draws attention to the sources and consequences of the stress process among farm operators. Using panel data from statewide surveys of North Carolina farm operators collected during a period of economic and ecological crisis, the relationships among perceived stress, social support, and survival in agriculture are investigated. Analyses reveal that while the level of perceived stress has no relationship with survival, social support has a significant impact upon both social psychological (plans to remain in farming) and behavioral (continuing as a farm operator) dimensions of survival in agriculture. Perceived social support increased plans to remain in agriculture and increased the probability of an operator continuing farming. The results point to the importance of social support and have implications for policy intervention and programs.

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