The effect of Social Support on Community College Students Experiencing Food Insecurity: An Overlooked Population

Marissa O'Neill


Food and housing security among college students is emerging as a state and national issue. In 2016, 656 students at a California community college completed an online survey. While 42% were food secure, 26% ranked low, and 32% as very low. A regression analysis was performed to assess formal and informal social supports associated with food security. The struggle for nutrition before college was the strongest predictor (B=1.816***), of food insecurity. Mental health problems (B=.978***) also contribute while sharing meals (B=-1.122**), was a protective factor. Results illustrates the need for a greater understanding of the challenges students face. College students are an overlooked population in need of intervention by social workers. Suggestions for intervention are discussed.

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