Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Alan Pehrson

Committee Member

Deborah Fish Ragin

Committee Member

Laura Lakusta


Health outcomes like morbidities and death relate to socioeconomic status (SES), or the power and prestige related to social classes. Many of such outcomes can also be attributed to diet, which SES and gender have been related to. The current study sought to discover factors relevant to dietary behaviors like ground meat preference and motives like the importance of food price, nutrition, naturalness, and convenience. Does SES predict a preference for ground turkey; the importance of food price; nutrition; and naturalness? Does gender predict the importance of food nutrition, naturalness, or convenience? A survey measured participants’ levels of education and dietary motives, research assistants observed and coded gender, and income levels were based on the supermarket areas’ household incomes. A total of 308 consumers were recruited from supermarkets in northern NJ. The predominant data analytic technique was binary logistic regression. Education predicted the importance of food price (p < .005). Being female predicted the importance of food nutrition (p < .05). Educated persons of heightened SES were less concerned with food price’s importance, which suggested that food price may hinder food habits for the uneducated or impoverished. Furthermore, feminine socialization and reinforcement processes possibly drove the importance of food nutrition for women, perhaps in pursuance of bodily thinness. These findings indicated that SES was related to consumers’ spending capacities and gender socialization processes seem to promote nutrition for women. Implications were discussed and future studies were recommended.

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Psychology Commons