Maternal Resources and Household Food Security: Evidence from Nicaragua
Kammi K. Schmeer, Ohio State University
Barbara Piperata, Ohio State University
Andres Herrera Rodriguez, Centro de Investigación en Demografia y Salud (CIDS)
Mariano Salazar Torres, Centro de Investigación en Demografia y Salud (CIDS)
Women (especially mothers) are theorized as critical to reducing household food insecurity through their caregiver and work roles. This study empirically tests these assumptions, assessing how maternal economic and social resources are associated with food insecurity in households with young children. Data from a new population-based sample of households with young children (age 3-10) was collected in León, Nicaragua (N=443), including a validated measure of household food insecurity (ELCSA) and maternal resource measures. Regression results suggested that when mothers contributed substantially to household income the odds of moderate/severe household food insecurity were 34% lower than when their spouse/partner was the main provider. When mothers managed household economic resources, the odds of food insecurity were 60% lower than when resources were managed by someone else. Low maternal education, single-mother status, and lower social support also contributed significantly to higher odds of food insecurity net of household economic resources and demographics.