The link between food insecurity and psychological distress: The role of stress exposure and coping resources

Gabriele Ciciurkaite, Robyn Lewis Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the association between food insecurity and mental health over a 3-year period. It also assesses the salience of life stressors and psychosocial coping resources for this association. We utilize data from a two-wave community survey of Miami-Dade County, Florida residents (N = 1488). Findings from SEM analysis reveal that greater food insecurity at W1 is associated with greater depressive symptoms at W2, lending credence to characterizations of food insecurity as a chronic stressor. This association is partly mediated by variation over the study period in social support and mastery. However, no significant mediating effects are observed for the social stress indicators assessed. Food insecurity is associated with diminished psychosocial coping resources, which leads to greater psychological distress. We discuss how these findings extend a stress and coping model of food insecurity, and implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1626-1639
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grants RO1 DA13292 and RO1 DA016429).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC

Keywords

  • food insecurity
  • mental health
  • stress and coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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