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Food security status of mothers at-risk for child maltreatment

Jesse J. Helton, Amy R. Moore and Courtney Henrichsen

Children and Youth Services Review, 2018, vol. 93, issue C, 263-269

Abstract: This study examined the food security status of a mother at risk for child protective service involvement in Missouri. Participants were recruited through a statewide prevention program utilizing Nurturing Parenting Program for families of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (n = 129). These mothers reported food security status over the previous year, information on community food access and quality, use of formal and informal food assistance programs, and fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. Half (51%) reported very low food security and another 25% reported low food security. Mothers also reported high use of formal food assistance programs (63%–75%), and 45% had utilized a soup kitchen or food pantry in the previous three months. Quality of food in the community was rated as poor by one in five. Very low food security was associated with decreased child consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although in need of replication, the results support prevention efforts to target the lack of food as a potentially modifiable antecedent to abuse and neglect.

Keywords: Child abuse prevention; Food security; Food assistance; Fruits and vegetable consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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