Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type


First Advisor

Poorna Kushalnagar

Second Advisor

Alina Engelman


Objective: This paper investigates the role of peer support in food security among deaf college students. Participants: The sample included 166 college students who took the survey between May and October 2017. Methods: Participants completed a bilingual online survey in ASL and English. This survey included questions about peer support, the USDA’s 6-item food security module, and sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Out of 166 students (mean age=23; SD=6), 60.7% were food secure. About 26.4% (n= 43) were at-risk for food insecurity and another 12.9% (n=21) had very low food security. The sample included respondents who identified as people of color (54%) and women (52%). Binary logistic regression revealed that compared to people who reported always receiving peer support, people who never received peer support were significantly more likely to experience food insecurity. Conclusions: This study demonstrates a strong relationship between peer support and deaf college students’ food security experiences. This connection calls for a greater emphasis on the importance friends have in deaf people’s lives.



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