Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Fatma Huffman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Adriana Campa

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Catherine Coccia

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Florence George

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


adult and continuing education, Arabic studies, cognitive behavioral therapy, community health and preventative medicine, dietetics and clinical nutrition, English language and literature, epidemiology, health services administration, health services research, medical education, medical humanities, medicine and health sciences, mental and social health, other public health, mental and social health, psychiatric and mental health, public health, public health education and promotion, women's health

Date of Defense



Syrian refugees settled in the United States may experience food insecurity due to different socioeconomic factors that may include nutrition knowledge, language proficiency, women’s education, and perceived stress. The structure and the type of households may also contribute to food insecurity in this population.

The objective of this study was to measure food security among Syrian refugees residing in Florida. It also aimed to determine the socioeconomic factors that may attribute to food insecurity at household level.

A comprehensive 228-item questionnaire was administered to N=80 households (n=43 in rural areas, n=37 in urban areas). Families with and without children were interviewed (88.7% families with children, 11.3% families without children). Interviewees included 78.5% women and 21.5% men with different levels of education.

The food security scale showed that refugees in rural and urban areas were moderately food insecure without hunger (4.9±2.4, 4.5±2.8 respectively).

Households with children in rural areas were 79.3% less likely to be food secure compared with counterparts in urban areas. The odds of being food secure were greater in urban cities than in rural areas, when controlling the number of employed individuals in the corresponding regression model.

Perceived stress had an inverse relationship with food security in rural areas, when it had a positive relationship in urban areas. There was a marginal significant (p=0.07) correlation between food security score and perceived stress score among all of households.





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