Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Robert E. Jones

Committee Members

Kasey Henricks, Deadric T. Williams


Food insecurity is defined as the inability to access adequate, safe, and nutritious food. A lack of financial resources and food-management skills leads many college students to experience food insecurity. This study explores the barriers and bridges of food insecurity among undergraduate students taking social science courses at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. An online survey was sent to students during the spring and summer semester of 2020. Predictors of food insecurity and the coping strategies students may use when running low on food were placed into an exploratory model. The exploratory model and its assumptions were then tested using six hypotheses. Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson (bivariate) correlations, and multiple linear regression. The findings show that Black and Hispanic students were more food insecure than White students. Food insecurity was also related to previous household food insecurity, less financial security, food assistance use, fewer monthly expenditures, lack of attachment to campus, negative experiences receiving food on campus, more perceived barriers to healthy eating, and the use of food coping strategies.

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