Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McKinney, Cliff

Committee Member

Winer, Eric Samuel

Committee Member

Nadorff, Danielle K.

Committee Member

Dozier, Mary A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology Concentration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Economic pressure and concomitant financial stress have been associated with mental and physical health problems, conflict, and poorer education and employment outcomes. Moreover, financial stress can be seen in specific hardships (e.g., food insecurity) and lead to maladaptive attempts to regulate emotions stemming from financial stressors. Women may be more vulnerable to consequences of food insecurity and attempts to regulate emotions with eating than men. Thus, the current study examined the impact of a randomized financial stress induction on affect and snack food choice while accounting for the influence of food insecurity and gender. Participants included 269 validly responding individuals. Participants completed a measure of implicit affect prior to as well as following random assignment to one of three possible financial stress inductions with varying levels of stress. Participants then predicted the food items they would eat and their overall desired for a specific food from an array of unhealthy snack foods items. Food insecurity was associated with higher stress response to the stress induction, which was experimentally shown to increase negative affect. Positive affect after the stress induction associated with increased desire for snacks among females but not their male counterparts. Additionally, female participants with difficulties with emotion regulation reported higher desire for snacks as compared to their male peers. Future research should include examination of emotion regulation, food insecurity, and gender differences.


Psi Chi Spring Graduate Research Grant 2019-2020