Likelihood of Using Food Stamps during the Adulthood Years
ABSTRACT The Food Stamp Program represents the cornerstone of the federal nutrition assistance safety net. This article estimates the likelihood that Americans will use such food assistance at some point during their adulthood. The probability and duration of food stamp use are estimated for the population as a whole and for differences in race, education, and gender. Based on these food stamp percentages, a lower boundary is also estimated with regard to the life course risk of food insecurity. DESIGN, SETTING, AND ANALYSIS: Thirty waves (1968 to 1997) of the nationally representative Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data set were merged for analysis. Food stamp use is defined as an individual being in a household that has used the Food Stamp Program at some point during the year. Approximately 260 000 person-years of information on food stamp use are analyzed using both life table techniques and logit modeling.
Between the ages of 20 and 65, slightly over half (50.8%) of all Americans will, at some point, receive food stamps. Use of the program takes place over relatively short periods of time but typically recurs at several points in the life course. Race and education exert a profound influence on the odds of program participation. Based on the life course patterns of food stamp use, it is estimated that at least 42% of the American population will experience food insecurity at some point between the ages of 20 and 65.
The overall life course patterns reveal a substantial need and use of food stamps within the US population. These results also suggest a significant risk of food insecurity across the life course. The implications for nutritionists are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: The Great Recession has been distinctive in driving up unprecedented levels of participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This study extends the literature on the geography of SNAP receipt by (1) examining change in SNAP receipt across US counties during the Great Recession and (2) identifying how changes in other local characteristics were associated with this outcome. Our analysis draws on data from the US Department of Agriculture and other secondary sources. We use descriptive statistics, mapping, and weighted least squares spatial regression models to examine county-level variation (N = 2,485) in the percentage-point change in SNAP receipt between 2007 and 2009. Our findings reveal substantial local-level variation in the change in SNAP stamp use during the downturn. We find that counties with the greatest levels of change in SNAP participation tend to be regionally clustered. Our regression analysis shows that areas where the signature characteristics of the Great Recession were most pronounced (i.e., home foreclosures and unemployment) were precisely the places where SNAP use jumped most, not places with historically high levels of SNAP participation. Overall, this study demonstrates that change in SNAP receipt was geographically uneven during the Great Recession, and that local and regional configurations matter in shaping this variation. These results hold a range of implications for public policy, including opportunities for regionally targeted outreach and investment in SNAP and the use of the program as a responsive form of local stimulus during periods of economic crisis.Population Research and Policy Review 02/2014; 33(1). DOI:10.1007/s11113-013-9310-9 · 0.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper examines connections between childhood involvement with the natural environment and adult environmentalism from a life course perspective. Approximately 2,000 adults age 18-90 living in urban areas throughout the United States were interviewed with respect to their childhood nature experiences and their current, adult attitudes and behaviors relating to the environment. Model testing and cross-validation procedures using structural equation modeling suggest that childhood participation with nature may set an individual on a trajectory toward adult environmentalism. Specifically, childhood participation in "wild" nature such as hiking or playing in the woods, camping, and hunting or fishing, as well as participation with "domesticated" nature such as picking flowers or produce, planting trees or seeds, and caring for plants in childhood have a positive relationship to adult environmental attitudes. "Wild nature" participation is also positively associated with environmental behaviors while "domesticated nature" experiences are marginally related to environmental behaviors.