Coming to College Hungry: How Food Insecurity Relates to Amotivation, Stress, Engagement, and First-Semester Performance in a 4-Year University
42 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2019 Last revised: 4 Sep 2020
Date Written: November 5, 2019
This descriptive, single-university study (N=700) joined institutional, external, and survey data to examine first-year students’ food insecurity links to non-cognitive attributes and first-semester performance and persistence. Regressions indicate LGBTQ, multi-racial, international, transfer, and first-generation students exhibit increased food insecurity. Food insecurity linked with psychological distress, financial stress, amotivation, and intent to engage with peers but not to faculty, staff, and academic engagement. Food insecurity is also associated with lower first-semester GPA and credits earned. Findings strengthen limited evidence that food insecurity links to college students’ experience, suggesting groups of already-underserved students may need immediate support to ease food insecurity.
Keywords: Food Security, Non-Cognitive Attributes, First-Year Performance and Persistence, College Students, Higher Education
JEL Classification: 123, 124
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation