health communication, agricultural industry, women, Hispanic, domestic violence, undocumented workers


This qualitative research project examined health experiences of female agricultural workers in central Florida. Specifically, this study identified the most common physical and mental health illnesses and issues reported by female agricultural workers, their health-related decision-making processes, methods used to access health-related information, and the challenges they encounter when attempting to access health-related information, support, and services. In total, 21 interviews were conducted with women who had worked for at least one year as an agricultural worker in central Florida. The data was analyzed for emergent themes based on a codebook developed using the IDEA model as a theoretical framework. The results revealed that female agricultural workers realize the relevance and impact of key physical and mental health issues and actively seek information about them and help to treat, as well as prevent them. However, the results also revealed a level of distrust for some medical providers and other information sources, as well as challenges in understanding health-related information due to language and health literacy barriers. They also identified several challenges that hinder them from getting the medical help they needed. These include, for example, financial constraints, immigration status, fear of deportation, and fear of losing their children and their jobs. Finally, this study confirmed the utility of the IDEA model as a framework for examining interview data provided by underrepresented populations regarding health-related topics and issues. It also identified recommendations and ideas for future research that, if carried out, would continue to raise awareness about the community's health communication constraints.

Completion Date




Committee Chair

Sellnow, Deanna Dee


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences


Nicholson School of Communication and Media

Degree Program

Strategic Communication






In copyright

Release Date

May 2025

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Campus Location

UCF Downtown

Accessibility Status

Meets minimum standards for ETDs/HUTs

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2025; it will then be open access.