Date of Conferral







Silvia Bigatti


The prevalence of food insecurity (FI) and housing insecurity (HI) in college students has increased over the last decade along with an associated increase in mental health problems. Studies show significant increases in many markers for mental distress in this population including a higher prevalence of mood disorders, non-lethal self-harm, and attempted and completed suicides, particularly over the last decade. Compounding these challenges is the low level of resilience found in college-age young adults, potentially limiting their ability to cope with and recover from the hardship of FI and HI. This quantitative study, guided by resilience theory and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, addressed whether resilience moderates the level of mental distress stemming from FI and HI by analyzing secondary data from the Spring 2020 American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment, version 3. Although data showed a correlation between both resilience and FI with mental distress, resilience did not moderate the relationships between FI and HI and mental distress. However, results from this study may contribute to positive social change by helping university and mental health personnel better understand the mental distress and basic needs in this population, informing interventions moving forward.