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School of Public Health


Health Policy, Management & Leadership


A social ecological model is applied to the secondary analysis of qualitative data to study the impact of place on rural food access for older adults in West Virginia. The use of a social-ecological model to review the senior’s coded narratives provided a clearer picture of higher impact, upstream levers to address food security for older adults in a rural region. The elderly have restricted access to food in rural West Virginia because of an indirect relationship with place that acts through the social ecological domains of the built environment, macrosocial factors, stressors, the natural environment, and social support. The results of this analysis add to theories on upstream policy sectors that may contribute to food security and the quality of dietary intake for older adults in rural places. As senior populations increase the need for greater understanding of the place-based causal pathways for rural food insecurity and poor nutrition in older adults will become more important for program and policy decisions.


This article received support from the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.

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