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Association of Food Insecurity With Multiple Forms of Interpersonal and Self-Directed Violence: A Systematic Review.

Authors
  • Frank, Madeline1
  • Daniel, Leah1
  • Hays, Caroline N1
  • Shanahan, Meghan E1
  • Naumann, Rebecca B1
  • McNaughton Reyes, H Luz1
  • Austin, Anna E1
  • 1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Trauma Violence & Abuse
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Volume
25
Issue
1
Pages
828–845
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/15248380231165689
PMID: 37009984
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Economic stress, broadly defined, is associated with an increased likelihood of multiple forms of violence. Food insecurity is a distinct economic stressor and material hardship that is amenable to programmatic and policy intervention. To inform intervention and identify gaps in the current evidence base, we conducted a systematic review to synthesize and critically evaluate the existing literature regarding the association between food insecurity and five forms of interpersonal and self-directed violence: intimate partner violence (IPV), suicidality, peer violence and bullying, youth dating violence, and child maltreatment, in high-income countries. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and searched six electronic databases from their start date through February of 2022. We included studies that examined food insecurity as the exposure and an outcome measure of IPV, suicide, suicidality, peer violence, bullying, youth dating violence, or child maltreatment; were peer-reviewed and published in English; reported quantitative data; and took place in a high-income country. We identified 20 relevant studies. Nineteen studies found that food insecurity was associated with an increased likelihood of these forms of violence. Results highlight the potential for programs and policies that address food insecurity to function as primary prevention strategies for multiple forms of violence and underscore the importance of trauma-informed approaches in organizations providing food assistance. Additional theory-driven research with validated measures of food insecurity and clearly established temporality between measures of food insecurity and violence is needed to strengthen the existing evidence base.

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