Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type

Thesis (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Studies

Committee Chair

Tracy Bruen

Committee Member

Sara Foley

Committee Member

Brook Harmon

Committee Member

Emily San Diego

Committee Member

Yu (Joyce) Jiang


Healthy food access is a concern in the United States (US) and determines individuals’ abilities to engage in health dietary patterns that influence health outcomes. Data from a Mid-South Congregational Health Survey (N=828) was used to examine the association between participants reporting healthy food access (N=474) and one of top three health needs (anxiety/depression, hypertension/stroke, and stress). The sample was 89% African American, 69% female, and 53% over 55 years old. Generalized linear mixed modeling was performed to examine associations. Since respondents were nested within churches (random effects), likelihood ratio test was determined the best fitting model. The model including fixed (socioeconomic factors like age, sex, race/ethnicity, educational level) and random effects (church ID) was indicated as best for stress and anxiety/depression while the model with fixed effects only was indicated as best for hypertension/stroke. There were higher odds of stress (OR= 5.67, 95% CI = 4.02, 7.96), anxiety/depression (OR = 4.26, 95% = 3.04, 5.96), and hypertension/store (OR = 4.63, 95% CI = 3.32, 6.46) being reported by participants who also reported healthy food access as a need. The socioeconomic factors of the current sample and strong associations of healthy food access being reported with the top health needs highlight the need for in depth programming and resource allocation. Faith based organizations should consider the socioeconomic factors (including race/ethnicity, age, gender, and healthy food access) when planning to address the concerns of health needs assessments.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


No Access