Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation





Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Department of Psychology


Benjamin T. Blankenship

Bryan K. Saville

Kala J. Melchiori


Previous research has suggested that recipients of charitable food assistance experience stigma and may be seen as undeserving. Neoliberal worldviews have also been identified in discourse around charitable food assistance (CFA) and CFA settings, and tied to stigma and undeservingness. However, there is relatively little research on the context of CFA overall and a paucity of research that has examined the relationship between these factors of CFA perceptions, particularly in individuals who are not directly involved as recipients or volunteers. This study consists of a quantitative survey administered to 266 psychology students at a large university measuring their perceptions of nonprofit food aid recipients’ deservingness, their stigmatizing attitudes toward food aid recipients, and their neoliberal attitudes. I studied the correlations between these three variables. I hypothesized that stigmatizing attitudes, perceptions of undeservingness, and neoliberal attitudes would all positively correlate with each other. I also tested two simple mediation models of particular interest. The three correlational hypotheses were supported. The two models, one with stigmatizing attitudes as a mediator and one with perceptions of deservingness as a mediator between the two other constructs of interest, were both found to be supported. Studying these constructs is important, due to how they may impact people who rely on CFA, and how they may influence support for legislation and programs that enable nonprofit food aid.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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