Title

A developmental lens on food insecurity: the role of children in the household and age groups on food insecurity impacting mental health

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Abstract

Objectives: The current study investigates the differential coping strategies and mental health consequences of food insecurity in relation to period of the lifespan (middle vs. late adulthood) and household composition (living with vs. without children). Method: Using a cross-sectional design, food-related coping strategies, anxiety (GAD-7), and depression (WHO-5) were compared among the following groups: middle adults with vs. without children, and middle adults without children vs. late adults without children. Predictive models using hierarchical linear regression examined the main effects of age and household composition with food insecurity predicting mental health; additionally, the interaction of food insecurity with age and household composition was tested in a separate model. Results: Middle-adults with and without children share similar frequencies in levels of food insecurity and coping strategies, which were significantly higher than late adults. Conclusion: The link between food insecurity and depression was stronger for middle-adults without children than late adults. Food insecurity was a stronger predictor of anxiety for middle-adults with children than those without.

Publication Title

Aging and Mental Health

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/13607863.2021.1989376

ISSN

13607863

E-ISSN

13646915

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