Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Kimberly A. Greder


Guided by the Family Stress Model, the two studies in this dissertation examine relations between household food insecurity, maternal depressive symptoms and child outcomes among rural Latino families who have low household incomes. The studies used data from two different, yet related, multi-state research projects. Path analysis was conducted in both studies to determine the relations between variables, and to test for mediation effects. The first study examined relations among food insecurity and internalizing and externalizing behaviors of children, and the indirect effects of maternal depressive symptoms and alliance between parents. The second study examined relations ahousehold food insecurity, medical need, maternal depressive symptoms and child health problems. Data analyses revealed that more depressive symptoms among mothers were associated with less alliance among parents (Study 1), as well as more health issues among children (Study 2). Results may suggest that improving mothers' mental health may lead to stronger alliance among parents, as well as fewer health problems among children. Additionally, it is important that professionals who work with rural Latino families that have low household incomes are aware of the link between maternal depression, parenting, child health and food insecurity, and are prepared to refer families to resources that can provide holistic support.


Copyright Owner

Kimberly Dawn Doudna



File Format


File Size

107 pages