Effects of maternal depression on family food insecurity

Kelly Noonan, Hope Corman, Nancy E. Reichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We use data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to estimate the effects of maternal depression, a condition that is fairly common and can be severe, on food insecurity, a hardship that has increased substantially in the U.S. Using various model specifications, we find convincing evidence that severe maternal depression increases the likelihood that young children experience food insecurity by 23-79%, with estimates depending on model specification and measures of depression and food insecurity. For household food insecurity, the corresponding estimates are 11-69%. We also find that maternal depression increases reliance on several types of public programs, suggesting that the programs play a buffering role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-215
Number of pages15
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


  • Family well-being
  • Food insecurity
  • Hardship
  • Maternal depression


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