Objective: In 2018, 11.1% of American households were food insecure at least once. Annual reports on food insecurity conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture study the prevalence of household food insecurity; however, they fail to conceptualize the consequences that are associated with being food insecure. The objective of this study is to analyze the impacts of food insecurity on academic performance of children currently enrolled in an Orange County, Florida, K-12 public school. Methods: One focus group and 10 one-on-one interviews were conducted with parents who have at least one child currently enrolled in a K-12 public school in Orange County, Florida, to capture the concerns that they have regarding food and their children's academic performance. In addition to this qualitative approach, a quantitative survey was administered to the respondents to measure the extent to which they are food insecure. Results: The data from this study show that food insecurity can impact a child's ability to perform to their fullest potential in school. Mainly parents reported that their household's access to food impacts their children's ability to concentrate in school. Further, more salient findings emerged, such as the costs of living in Orange County, a need for greater government assistance, reliance on outside sources of food to feed their children, transportation issues, and health issues. Conclusion: Sociodemographic factors are known to have an effect on a child's academic performance. The findings represented in this paper suggest that social factors related to poverty disadvantage children in their pursuit of succeeding academically.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Rosenberg, Justen, "Food for Thought: Food Insecurity and Academic Performance" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 126.