Family structure and child food insecurity

Daniel P. Miller, Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Gabriel Lara Ibarra, Steven Garasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined whether food insecurity was different for children in cohabiting or repartnered families versus those in single-mother or marriedparent (biological) families. Methods. We compared probabilities of child food insecurity (CFI) across different family structures in 4 national data sets: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics-Child Development Supplement (PSID-CDS). Results. Unadjusted probabilities of CFI in cohabiting or repartnered families were generally higher than in married-biological-parent families and often statistically indistinguishable from those of single-mother families. However, after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, most differences between family types were attenuated and most were no longer statistically significant. Conclusions. Although children whose biological parents are cohabiting or whose biological mothers have repartnered have risks for food insecurity comparable to those in single-mother families, the probability of CFI does not differ by family structure when household income, family size, and maternal race, ethnicity, education, and age were held at mean levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e70-e76
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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