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* Corresponding author 1 Department of Health Policy and Management 2 Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience 3 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 4 Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy 5 Psychiatry Institute 6 Santé publique et épidémiologie des déterminants professionnels et sociaux de la santé

Abstract : The authors examined the role of food insecurity in the etiology of children-s cognitive and mental health problems. Data from a prospective longitudinal study of 1,116 United Kingdom families with twins sample constructed in 1999-2000 were used to test associations among household food insecurity; income; maternal personality; household sensitivity to children-s needs; and children-s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional development. Food-insecure children had lower IQs and higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems relative to their peers. After differences in household income, the personalities of children-s mothers, and the sensitivity of household organization to children-s needs were accounted for, food-insecure children had moderately higher levels of emotional problems relative to food-secure children β = 0.22, P = 0.02. Differences in children-s cognitive development were accounted for by household income, and differences in their behavioral development were accounted for by their mothers- personalities and their households- sensitivity to children-s needs. Results suggest that food insecurity was associated with school-aged children-s emotional problems but not with their cognitive or behavioral problems after accounting for differences in the home environments in which children were reared. Mothers- personality and household sensitivity to children-s needs may present challenges to improving outcomes of children with food insecurity.

Autor: Daniel Belsky - Terrie Moffitt - Louise Arsenault - Maria Melchior - Avshalom Caspi -



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