Geographic Location and Coping Strategies Among Primary Caregivers with Food Insecurity
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Public Health Honors Theses; 2017
The objective of this study is to explore differences in coping strategies among urban and rural primary caregivers with food insecurity. According to the USDA, food insecurity is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. In 2014, there were 17.4 million American households classified as food insecure with the highest prevalence found in rural and urban settings. To mitigate the effects of food insecurity, primary caregivers use an array of coping strategies to feed their children, including foregoing basic needs like medication, rent, and utilities to purchase food. However, little is known about the use of these coping strategies by caregivers from urban and rural environments. Understanding these coping strategies used by caregivers could be useful in creating geography-specific strategies to address this debilitating issue. Primary caregivers, over the age of 18 with dependents under the age of 18, were recruited at two family practice clinics in Columbus, Ohio. Questionnaires were administered to assess presence and severity of food insecurity and food coping strategies. Place of residence, neighborhood characteristics and demographic information were also obtained. Recruitment is ongoing and will be completed by March 20, 2017. Initial responses indicate that there appears to be differences in coping strategies used in urban and rural environments. Urban primary caregivers appear to have a greater prevalence of food insecurity and appear more likely to forego utilities and rent whereas rural primary caregivers appear to forego medicine to obtain food. By understanding the coping strategies used by food insecure caregivers from rural and urban locations, public health professionals will be able to better understand the complex nature of food insecurity to plan more strategic interventions which can protect against poor nutrition and health outcomes and better serve the populations affected.
First place in "Foods for Health: From the Bench to the Table" category in Denman Undergraduate Research Forum
Academic Major: Public Health
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