Award Date

May 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Public Health

First Committee Member

Melva Thompson-Robinson

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Third Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Fourth Committee Member

Howard Gordon

Number of Pages

101

Abstract

Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In Nevada, an estimated 80,000 individuals, aged 60 years or older, were food insecure in 2016. The primary aim of this study was to identify factors that are associated with food insecurity in older adults, aged sixty and older, in Clark County, NV. The secondary aim of this study was to identify which factors interact with each other to explain food insecurity among individuals aged sixty and older, in Clark County, NV. A secondary data analysis was conducted using data collected by Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, NV. Based on chi-square statistics, logistic regression models were calculated based on the levels of influence from the Social Ecological Model. Three regression models were calculated: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Community. In the Intrapersonal model (χ2 = 119.839, df = 12, n = 409, p <0.001), the statistically significant variables were ambulatory disability (p = 0.043), total unhealthy days due to poor physical and/or mental health within the past thirty days (p = 0.017), age group 60-64 (p = 0.042), money being the greatest barrier to accessing food on a regular basis (p = <0.001), and being single (p = 0.014). In the Interpersonal model (χ2 = 42.281, df = 6, n = 277, p <0.001), the statistically significant variables were participants that responded affirmatively to having to choose between paying for food versus medicine or medical care at least one or two times during the year (p = 0.040) and having to choose between paying for food versus rent or mortgage at least one or two times during the year (p = 0.033). In the Community model (χ2 = 17.612, df = 4, n = 408, p <0.001), the statistically significant variables were participants that reported an easy walk to a transit (bus) stop near their home (p = 0.028) and safe, well-maintained sidewalks in their community (p = 0.025). The findings in this study suggest developing food interventions based on factors related to health, finances, and the built environment to reduce food insecurity in individuals, ages 60 and older, in Clark County, NV.

Keywords

Food insecurity; Seniors; Social Ecological Model

Disciplines

Family, Life Course, and Society | Geriatrics | Public Health

Language

English


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