Examining the Influence of Personality Traits and Family Income on Psychological Distress Among Farmers: The Role of Educational Status

Olabimpe A. Olatunji1, *, Erhabor S. Idemudia1, Babatola D. Olawa2
1 Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, Mafikeng, South Africa
2 Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa

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© 2021 Olatunji et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, Mafikeng, South Africa; Tel: +27 837430112; E-mail:



Farming in most developing nations is still largely agrarian. Hence, ensuring high productivity among farmers requires that they must be both physically and psychologically healthy. The current study aimed at investigating the role of personality types and some demographic factors on psychological distress in farmers.


The study employed a cross-sectional survey design of 301 farmers (male = 193, female = 107; age range = 17 – 74; M = 45.6 SD = 11.5) sampled purposively and conveniently from three major farm settlements in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Data were analyzed using multiple regression stratified by educational status.


Findings revealed that high neuroticism and low family income predicted psychological distress in less-educated farmers but not among more educated counterparts.


Outcomes imply that less-educated farmers may be vulnerable to psychological distress due to personality disposition and economic factors. Increasing the level of literacy among farmers may wane the negative impact of neuroticism and low income on emotional wellness.

Keywords: Psychological distress, Farmers, Neuroticism, Educational level, Family income, Emotional wellness.