Parental Management of Child Hunger Among Homeless and Precariously Housed Families With Adult Food Insecurity

Adam Lippert , University of Colorado Denver
Barrett A. Lee, Pennsylvania State University

Food insecurity is a household condition marked by economic or social limits on access to adequate food. Household food insecurity may not impact all family members equally, especially when adults adopt measures to spare children from hunger. Economically-vulnerable parents employ a variety of strategies to "shield" their children from hunger, often at the cost of their own health. However, not all parents beset by food insecurity successfully shield their children, a fact reflected by the 2.9 million US households with child food insecurity in 2017. Little is known about how families who are homeless or precariously housed manage food insecurity and protect their children from hunger. Using data from a nationally-representative survey of homeless or precariously-housed families, we develop a parental management model of food insecurity and examine family risk and protective factors that attenuate or exacerbate the risk for child food insecurity among families at the margins of society.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth