Does food insecurity affect parental characteristics and child behavior? Testing mediation effects

Soc Serv Rev. 2010;84(3):381-401. doi: 10.1086/655821.


Using two waves of data from the Child Development Supplement in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study investigates whether parental characteristics (parenting stress, parental warmth, psychological distress, and parent's self-esteem) mediate household food insecurity's relations with child behavior problems. Fixed-effects analyses examine data from a low-income sample of 416 children from 249 households. This study finds that parenting stress mediates the effects of food insecurity on child behavior problems. However, two robustness tests produce different results from those of the fixed-effects models. This inconsistency suggests that household food insecurity's relations to the two types of child behavior problems need to be investigated further with a different methodology and other measures.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior* / ethnology
  • Child Behavior* / physiology
  • Child Behavior* / psychology
  • Child Development*
  • Child Welfare / ethnology
  • Child Welfare / history
  • Child Welfare / psychology
  • Child*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Characteristics* / ethnology
  • Family Health / ethnology
  • Food Industry / economics
  • Food Industry / education
  • Food Industry / history
  • Food Supply* / economics
  • Food Supply* / history
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Parent-Child Relations / ethnology
  • Parent-Child Relations / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Social Class / history
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • United States / ethnology