Development of a tool to assess past food insecurity of immigrant latino mothers.

  • Kuyper E
  • Espinosa-Hall G
  • Lamp C
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: The purpose is to describe the development and validation of a tool to measure the degree of past food insecurity in an immigrant US population.

DESIGN: Focus group discussions and a structured interview. As a first step, focus group discussions were conducted among immigrant Latino mothers. Based on these discussions, an 8-item tool was developed and pilot-tested in a convenience sample of mothers.

SETTING: California.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-two low-income Latino mothers with children, ages 4 to 5 years, in the focus groups and 85 low-income Latino and white mothers of young children in the structured interviews.

ANALYSES: Constant comparative analysis, Cronbach alpha, Spearman correlations, Chi-square, and Kruskal-Wallis test.

RESULTS: Internal consistency of the remaining 7 items was good (Cronbach alpha = 0.84). Evidence of convergent validity included significant correlations between past food insecurity and maternal education (r = -0.45, p < .0001), crowding in the mother's childhood household (r = +0.30, p < .006), and past food insufficiency (r = +0.74, p < .0001). Foreign-born Latino mothers reported significantly greater levels of past food insecurity than US-born mothers, demonstrating discriminant validity (p < .01).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This tool may be useful to determine how past deprivation influences current food choices and other nutrition-related behaviors in low-income Latino immigrants.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adult
  • California
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Emigration and Immigration: statistics & numerical
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Food Supply
  • Food Supply: statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Latin America
  • Latin America: ethnology
  • Male
  • Poverty

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  • Edith M Kuyper

  • Gloria Espinosa-Hall

  • Catherine L Lamp

  • Anna C Martin

  • Diane L Metz

  • Dorothy Smith

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