Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family Environment


This study examines relationships between household food production activities and (1) household expenditures for food, and (2) the household's assessment of the adequacy of their food. The source of the data is the 1977-1978 USDA Household Food Consumption Survey, which includes 14,930 households in the 48 conterminous states;Two different measures of household food production are used. The first, primary food production, is the number of activities engaged in that produced goods that could later be used in meal preparation and consumption. These activities include growing various fruits and vegetables, catching fish, and preserving various foods. The second measure, secondary food production, is the percent of the household's meals that were eaten at home during a seven-day period;A standard path analysis is posited, suggesting that various socioeconomic and demographic characteristics influence both types of household food production. It is further hypothesized that households that are engaged in the production of food, in turn, spend less on food at home and away, and report that their food is adequate;The intervening variable, total food expenditures, includes expenditures for food at grocery and specialty stores and for meals eaten away from home. Reported adequacy of the household's food is assessed by the respondent's report of the adequacy of the quality and quantity of the household's food;Two parallel models are tested, one using primary food production as the independent variable, and one using secondary food production. The most important predictor of primary food production is the urbanization of the location of residence, followed by home ownership, number of household heads, and age of the head. Household size is the most important predictor of food expenditures; however, primary food production and income are important factors. Reported adequacy of food is most strongly related to education and household size;The model for secondary food production is similar except the best predictor of this measure is the number of hours worked per week by the household head. In neither model is there a strong relationship between household food production and reported adequacy of food, either directly, or indirectly through food expenditures.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Carol Bennett Volker



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100 pages