School Mental Health

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 263–272 | Cite as

Children and Youth Perceptions of Family Food Insecurity and Bullying

Original Paper


Children at high risk for going to school or bed hungry are also at risk to develop psychosocial problems at school. These psychosocial problems are associated with bullying. To date, no empirical studies examine the association between going to school or bed hungry (i.e., food insecurity) and bullying. Perceptions of food insecurity are aligned with perceived social standing, and this study is guided by the conceptual framework that youth subjective appraisal of their social standing is associated with psychosocial problems. This study uses a representative US sample of 12,642 students from the “Health Behaviour in School-aged Children” survey. Omnibus Kruskal–Wallis and pairwise test statistically analyze the data. Findings indicate food-insecure students bully others and are victims of bullying more frequently than food-secure students. These results suggest food not only impacts health, but perceptions of lack of food are related to psychosocial problems in the form of school bullying. Schools can implement treatment models that address individual-level psychosocial perceptions to advance positive youth developmental trajectories and prevent food insecurity and bullying.


Bullying Victimization Food insecurity Hunger Child health behavior 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Oliver W. Edwards and Gordon Taub declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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