Understanding food-related hardships among older Americans: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Project

This project will identify mid-life predictors of living in a food insecure household at age 60 and older, explore whether living in a food insecure household in mid-life is associated with reduced odds of well-being or healthy aging among persons age 60 and older, and, examine changes in the odds of living in a food insecure household among adults as they transition onto Social Security retirement benefits.

Dr. Brucker and two consultants, Dr. Sophie Mitra and Dr. Katie Jajtner, will draw on their experience using the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID) to examine wellbeing and healthy aging among older Americans as well as their experience in conducting food security related research with other nationally representative data sets to conduct innovative research which intersects the aging and food security domains. Using data from the PSID, a nationally representative study which has tracked over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families since 1968, the research team will employ multivariate methods to address the objectives noted above. The PSID is the only nationally representative panel survey that includes the full 18-item Household Food Security Module, a supplement designed to measure overall household food security as well as different facets of food security.

The PSID also gathers information on correlates of food insecurity (i.e. sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, household structure, income, employment, and public program participation), measures of wellbeing and healthy aging, and Social Security receipt.

This project will produce three manuscripts which will:

  1. Identify mid-life predictors of living in a food insecure household at age 60 and older, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics;
  2. Determine whether living in a food insecure household in mid-life is associated with reduced odds of wellbeing or healthy aging among persons age 60 and older; and,
  3. Examine changes in the odds of living in a food insecure household among adults as they transition onto Social Security retirement benefits.
Age Levels: 
Older Adult