This dissertation describes the conceptual and empirical framework that guides the definition of food insecurity and hunger, the present status of federal programmatic responses, and the status of current research on the topic. It also examines relations between hunger and federal food assistance program participation. Logistic regression is utilized to build two predictor models. Model 1 predicts federal food assistance program participation from household structure, income, community characteristics, and demographics. Model 2 predicts food insecurity/hunger from household structure, income, community characteristics, demographics, and federal food assistance program participation. Results are based on 2004 Current Population Survey data from low income households. Model 1 performed better than a constant only model, and reliably distinguished between federal food assistance program participating and non-participating households. As a whole, Model 1 explained approximately 30 percent of the variance in program participation. Household size was the strongest predictor of federal food assistance program participation. Model 2 also performed better than a constant only model, and reliably distinguished between food secure and food insecure/hungry households. As a whole, Model 2 explained less than 10 percent of the variance in food insecurity. Household earnings were the strongest predictor of food insecurity. The odds of food insecurity for households that participated in federal food assistance programs were higher than for households that did not participate. Methodological, philosophical, and policy implications of these findings are discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on the relevance of findings for the field of social work. Suggestions for future research are also provided.
|School:||Portland State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Census, Federal food assistance program, Food insecurity, Food security, Food security supplement, Households, Hunger, Logistic regression, Low-income, Odds ratio, Social work, United States|
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