Exposure to Food Insecurity during Adolescence and Educational Attainment

Colleen Heflin, Rajeev Darolia, Sharon Kukla-Acevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Previous research has documented the negative consequences of exposure to food insecurity over the early childhood period in terms of health and cognitive and behavioral outcomes, but less research has explored the consequences of exposure to food insecurity at other points in childhood. We examine the association between food insecurity during adolescence and educational attainment. We begin by exploring a conceptual framework for the potential mechanisms that might lead adolescents who experience food insecurity to have differential educational outcomes. Then, we use descriptive and regression analysis to see whether food insecurity is associated with lower educational attainment using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Transition to Adulthood Survey. We find that exposure to food insecurity during adolescence predicts lower levels of educational attainment by reducing college attendance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-469
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • adolescence
  • educational attainment
  • food insecurity
  • poverty
  • transition to adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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