Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Adolescent Food Insecurity in Baltimore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While emerging evidence is highlighting a growing problem of food insecurity among adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods, very little is known about the factors that may either protect or place adolescents at higher risk for food insecurity. The primary objective for this analysis, therefore, was to examine the associations between individual-, family-, and neighborhood-level risks and protective factors and food insecurity among 452 adolescents in Baltimore, Maryland. Results show that nearly 30% of our sample were food insecure (29.4%). Food insecure youth were more likely to be unstably housed (OR 5.17, 1.24–21.62), live in larger households (OR 1.14, 1.08–1.20), and perceive their neighborhoods unsafe (OR 2.37, 1.47–3.83). Protective factors included perceiving both male and female adult support (OR 0.55 and 0.47, respectively), having a higher sense of community belonging (OR 0.91, 0.32–0.95) and having positive perceptions of their neighborhood’s physical environment (OR 0.93, 0.88–0.98). These results suggest that strengthening family and neighborhood relations and resources may promote the health of adolescents in disadvantaged urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-307
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Family factors
  • Food insecurity
  • Neighborhood factors
  • Urban adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Adolescent Food Insecurity in Baltimore'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this