Factors Related to Food Insecurity in the University of Dayton Student Population

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Health and Sport Science


In recent years, university campuses have found high rates of food insecurity. Food insecurity is associated with negative health and academic outcomes. Identifying contributing and mediating factors can inform appropriate intervention development. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore factors associated with food insecurity and examine skill, stress and time related to meal planning, grocery shopping, food preparation, and budgeting in undergraduate university students at the University of Dayton. Methodology: First, semi-structured interviews with 23 undergraduate students were administered to explore food insecurity at the University of Dayton. Using grounded theory, the interviews were analyzed by two trained researchers and main categories and themes identified. The qualitative data informed the development of a short questionnaire examining student perception of skill, time and stress in meal planning, grocery shopping, food preparation, and budgeting. The developed questionnaire and the USDA short 6-item food security questionnaire were sent to students’ university email accounts.

One-way Analysis of Variance and Bonferroni post-hoc tests were employed to examine the differences in skill, time and stress across the three food security groups (food secure, low food security and very low food security). Results: The core categories identified in the semi-structured interviews relating to food insecurity included the on- and off-campus food environments, the informal social student network and food-related skills. In regards to the food insecurity and skill, time and stress questionnaires. of the 270 undergraduate students who completed the questionnaires, 26.4% identified as low food secure and 15.5% as very low food secure. Further, there was a significant difference between groups in terms of skill, time and stress (p

For skill, food secure students had a significantly higher score compared to the low food secure group. The low and very low food secure groups had significantly higher stress and less perceived time compared to the food secure group (p




Presentation: 12:40 p.m. Friday, April 24, 2020