Food insecurity and academic function among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic: A moderating role of the first-generation college student status

Umeda et al. / Journal of American College Health / March 2023

Female student eating in front of laptop

This study examined food insecurity (FI) prevalence among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2021) using cross-sectional design, and the moderating role of the first-generation student status in the relationship between FI and grade point average (GPA). Participants included three-hundred sixty students recruited mostly from upper-level kinesiology courses. General linear model was used to predict GPA based on food security status, psychological health, and bodily pain, with subgroup analysis performed by first-generation student status. Approximately 19% were classified as having FI. Those with FI showed lower GPA and poor health compared to those without FI. The link between FI and GPA was moderated by first-generation student status, with the negative impact of FI on GPA more clearly observed among non-first-generation students. First-generation student status could play a role in determining the impact of FI on academic performance.