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Childhood Reports of Food Neglect and Impulse Control Problems and Violence in Adulthood

School of Social Work, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA
School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Program in Criminology, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75080, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Matt DeLisi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 389;
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 28 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Psychology and Crime)
PDF [469 KB, uploaded 30 March 2016]


Food insecurity and hunger during childhood are associated with an array of developmental problems in multiple domains, including impulse control problems and violence. Unfortunately, extant research is based primarily on small convenience samples and an epidemiological assessment of the hunger-violence link is lacking. The current study employed data from Wave 1 (2001–2002) and Wave 2 (2004–2005) of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). The NESARC is a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized U.S. residents aged 18 years and older. Participants who experienced frequent hunger during childhood had significantly greater impulsivity, worse self-control, and greater involvement in several forms of interpersonal violence. These effects were stronger among whites, Hispanics, and males. The findings support general theoretical models implicating impulse control problems as a key correlate of crime and violence and add another facet to the importance of ameliorating food neglect in the United States. View Full-Text
Keywords: interpersonal violence; food neglect; self-control; reactive aggression; violence interpersonal violence; food neglect; self-control; reactive aggression; violence

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Vaughn, M.G.; Salas-Wright, C.P.; Naeger, S.; Huang, J.; Piquero, A.R. Childhood Reports of Food Neglect and Impulse Control Problems and Violence in Adulthood. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 389.

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