Do Walmart supercenters improve food security?

This paper examines the effect of Walmart Supercenters, which lower food prices and expand food availability, on household and child food insecurity. Our food insecurity-related outcomes come from the 2001-2012 waves of the December Current Population Study Food Security Supplement. Using narrow geographic identifiers available in the restricted version of these data, we compute the distance between each household’s census tract of residence and the nearest Walmart Supercenter.

Child age and gender differences in food security in a low-income, inner-city population

A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders.

Paternal incarceration and children's food insecurity: A consideration of variation and mechanisms

Despite growing attention to the unintended intergenerational consequences of incarceration, little is known about whether and how paternal incarceration is related to children’s food insecurity, an especially acute and severe form of deprivation. In this article, I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a cohort of urban children born to mostly unmarried mothers, to examine the relationship between paternal incarceration and food insecurity among young children.

Childhood stress: A qualitative analysis of the intergenerational circumstances of child hunger

Adverse childhood experiences, including abuse, neglect, and household instability affect lifelong health and economic potential. While relationships between household food insecurity and caregiver's childhood exposure to abuse and neglect are underexplored, preliminary evidence indicates that caregivers reporting very low food security report traumatic events in their childhoods that lead to poor physical and mental health.

New evidence on why children's food security varies across households with similar incomes

This project examines why very low food security status among children is different across households with very similar measured resources. Controlling for measures of income-to-needs, we examine whether elements in  the environment, household characteristics,  or  behaviors  are  systematically  correlated  with  VLFS  among children.

Neighborhood food infrastructure, economic shocks, and very low food security among children

Concern about spatial access to food retailers and food assistance resources has increased in recent years, placing greater importance on understanding how connections to the local food resource infrastructure shapes food security. This is especially true during the Great Recession era, during which time a greater incidence of economic shocks has contributed to rising food insecurity and rising food assistance caseloads.

Effects of maternal depression on family food insecurity

Theory suggests that adverse life events—such as unemployment or health shocks—can result in food insecurity, which has increased substantially in the U.S. over the past decade alongside the obesity epidemic. We test this proposition by estimating the effects of a specific and salient mental health event—maternal depression during the postpartum year—on child and family food insecurity.

Beyond income: What else predicts very low food security among children?

We examine characteristics and correlates of households in the United States that are most likely to have children at risk of inadequate nutrition – those that report very low food security (VLFS) among their children. Using 11 years of the Current Population Survey, plus data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and American Time Use Survey, we describe these households in great detail with the goal of trying to understand how these households differ from households without such severe food insecurity.

Family structure and child food insecurity

This study examined whether food insecurity was different for children in cohabiting or repartnered families compared to those in single mother or married (biological) parent families. We compared probabilities of child food insecurity across different family structures in four national datasets the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort ECLS-B); the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (FFWCS); the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K); and, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics-Child Development Supplement (PSID-CDS).

Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Prevalence of VLFS in Children among Children of Foreign-Born Mothers

This research examined VLFS in children among households with foreign-born (FB) mothers compared to US-born mothers through three research questions: Is mother’s foreign-born status (FBS) associated with VLFS in children, and can association be explained by mothers’ socio-demographic characteristics? Are FB mothers more or less likely to receive nutrition or non-nutrition assistance benefits, or work for pay than US-born mothers? Do mothers’ FBS, or protective/risk factors associated with FBS, modify associations of negative economic shocks and hardships with VLFS in children?