THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG FOOD SECURITY, HEALTH LOCUS OF CONTROL, AND MENTAL HEALTH
Munger, Ashley Lauren
Epstein, Norman B.
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Prior research has demonstrated a relationship between food insecurity and poor mental health, but this research has been conducted primarily in samples of females. In addition, the mechanisms through which this relationship operates are not well understood. This study investigated whether a relationship between food security and mental health exists for both males and females, as well as whether health locus of control mediates this relationship. Data were from a convenience sample of 110 female and 40 male Supplemental Nutrition Assistance eligible adults in Maryland. Based on self-reports, the relationship between food security and mental health was significant among males and borderline significant among females. Whereas health locus of control mediated the relationship between food security and mental health for the women, it did not for the men. Findings indicated men and women commonly experience food insecurity and poor mental health concurrently. Understanding this relationship is essential for appropriate intervention.