Risk and protective factors for adult and child hunger among low-income housed and homeless female-headed families

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Psychiatry; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Case-Control Studies; Child; Child Welfare; Demography; Female; *Food Supply; Health Status; *Homeless Persons; *Housing; Humans; *Hunger; Massachusetts; Mother-Child Relations; Mothers; Odds Ratio; Parenting; *Poverty; Prevalence; Public Assistance; Risk Factors


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVES: We sought to identify factors associated with adult or child hunger.

METHODS: Low-income housed and homeless mothers were interviewed about socioeconomic, psychosocial, health, and food sufficiency information. Multinomial logistic regression produced models predicting adult or child hunger.

RESULTS: Predictors of adult hunger included mothers' childhood sexual molestation and current parenting difficulties, or "hassles." Risk factors for child hunger included mothers' childhood sexual molestation, housing subsidies, brief local residence, having more or older children, and substandard housing.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found that the odds of hunger, although affected by resource constraints in low-income female-headed families, were also worsened by mothers' poor physical and mental health. Eliminating hunger thus may require broader interventions than food programs.


Am J Public Health. 2004 Jan;94(1):109-15.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID