Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Psychological Sciences

Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Robert Althoff

Second Advisor

Amy Hughes-Lansing


food insecurity, rural, depressive symptoms, acquisition, management


Little is known about the factors that contribute to the management and acquisition of food in rural, food insecure households. In this study, caregivers (N=61) with school-aged children living in rural, food insecure households were asked to complete a series of baseline questionnaires and tasks, followed by daily surveys over 35 days, which measured household food insecurity, food environment, depressive symptoms, and food-based coping strategies. Results showed that in circumstances where food insecurity is more severe, caregivers engage in more private (at-home) management strategies, and less in public food acquisition. Additionally, caregivers also engaged in more private management strategies and less private food acquisition when experiencing more severe depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that caregivers with severe food insecurity or depressive symptoms may be at risk for disengagement from external support systems around them, relying on themselves to mitigate their food insecurity. The results obtained from this study provide insight into how we may potentially re-evaluate the focus of current food-assistance program initiatives to fit the needs of rural communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.