Clare Brock: Framing Child Nutrition

Clare Brock published an article in Social Science Quarterly.

Title: Framing Child Nutrition Programs: The Impact of Party and District Characteristics on Elite Framing

Abstract: The objective of this article is to determine whether district characteristics impact the framing choices made by members of Congress. Certain frameworks may be more effective for creating policy change, and given that framing shapes the way humans conceptualize a problem space, framing should be a deliberate tool used in order to constrain the debate around certain problems. However, the actual details of debate shifts and issue framing often become a “black box” in theories of policy change. The study uses content analysis of floor statements made over a 16-year period regarding the National School Lunch Program, the results of which are analyzed using a multinomial logistic regression. The results indicate that policy framing is highly dependent on district characteristics, but that language use itself does not appear to have changed significantly in the time period studied. The evidence presented here indicates that legislators are, at least through floor statements, engaging in delegate representation of their district interests.