The Role of Social Relationships and Self-Efficacy in Diabetes Management

Project: Research project

Description

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):This R21 application seeks support for an investigation of the roles of marital status, social support, and self- efficacy in the effectiveness of diabetes management in a diverse population of middle-aged and older adults in the U.S. The proposed research will use structural equation modeling to analyze data collected in 2002 and 2004 from core interviews of the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study (HRS), plus data from the 2003 supplemental diabetes-specific mail survey to examine these relationships by gender, age group, and major race-ethnicity categories. The significance of the proposed research lies in the skyrocketing rates of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. over the past few decades in all segments of the population, but primarily in middle aged and older adults. Concerns about obesity and physical inactivity and their links to the onset, complications, and societal costs of diabetes have led to public health mandates at the national level-such as those included in Healthy People 2010-aimed at reversing those trends. Although prevention of diabetes is certainly an important goal, more effective management for individuals already diagnosed with diabetes is also critical for reducing the risks of future complications. Currently, less than one in eight of all adults with diabetes follow the guidelines for good management; and older adults follow them at even lower rates. Many past studies showing that self-efficacy and social relationships are key factors in diabetes-related behavioral and health outcomes are limited by their use of non-representative data sets, cross-sectional analyses, and inadequate controls on other factors that may also be important to consider. This application's goal is to examine how social relationships (and particularly marriage) and self-efficacy influence adherence to diabetes-related lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes in order to develop and test interventions that provide more effective supports for adults living with diabetes. In particular, we will: (1) examine marital status as a predictor of behavioral (diet and exercise) and health outcomes (glycemic control and diabetes-related quality of life) in middle-aged and older adults living with diabetes; (2) investigate whether self-efficacy and diabetes support mediate the link between marital status and behavioral and health outcomes of diabetes; and (3) discern whether associations among marital status, diabetes support, self-efficacy, and behavioral and health outcomes are moderated by gender, age group, or race-ethnicity. Understanding more clearly the role of marriage and self-efficacy, and particularly if and how diabetes management differs between middle-aged and older married and unmarried adults, may inform the development of more effective interventions for adults living with diabetes. This knowledge may also be all the more important given recent studies showing spouses may be at increased risk for developing diabetes themselves because of the marital context and shared environment. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Concerns about obesity and physical inactivity and their links to diabetes have led to public health mandates- such as those included in Healthy People 2010-aimed at reversing those trends. Although prevention of diabetes is an important goal, more effective management for individuals already diagnosed with diabetes is also critical for reducing the risks of future complications. Currently, less than one in eight adults with diabetes follow the guidelines for good management; and older adults follow them at even lower rates. Understanding how social relationships (and particularly marriage) and self-efficacy influence good diabetes management in middle-aged and older adults living with diabetes may be key to developing and testing interventions that provide more effective supports, and all the more important to married couples because spouses may be at higher risk for developing diabetes themselves if their partner has diabetes.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/20/088/31/12

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $196,843.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $234,530.00

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Self Efficacy
Marital Status
Health
Marriage
Healthy People Programs
Spouses
Public Health
Age Groups
Obesity
Guidelines
Retirement
Postal Service
Research
Social Support
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Population
Life Style
Cross-Sectional Studies
Quality of Life
Interviews