Coming to College Hungry: How Food Insecurity Relates to Amotivation, Stress, Engagement, and First-Semester Performance in a 4-Year University

34 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2019

See all articles by Daniel Collier

Daniel Collier

Western Michigan University; W.E. Upjohn Institute

Dan Fitzpatrick

Western Michigan University

Chelsea Brehm

Western Michigan University

Eric Archer

Assistant Professor

Date Written: November 5, 2019

Abstract

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

Collier, Daniel and Fitzpatrick, Dan and Brehm, Chelsea and Archer, Eric, Coming to College Hungry: How Food Insecurity Relates to Amotivation, Stress, Engagement, and First-Semester Performance in a 4-Year University (November 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3490080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3490080

Daniel Collier (Contact Author)

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

W.E. Upjohn Institute ( email )

300 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4686
United States
49008 (Fax)

Dan Fitzpatrick

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Chelsea Brehm

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Eric Archer

Assistant Professor ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

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