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259950 Social support and mental health in Puerto Rican women with diabetes
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Social support is an important protective factor against emotional distress. Little is known about its role in promoting mental health among Latinas with diabetes. Latinas usually rely on informal supports; for Latinas with diabetes good mental health can help control the diabetes, reduce complications, and improve quality of life. Using a cross-sectional survey design, we explored two research questions: Does higher social support predict lower emotional distress? Does diabetes moderate the relationship between social support and emotional distress? A sample of Puerto Rican women (N=153), mean age of 33.6, completed surveys in English (47.7%) and Spanish (52.3%); 55.6%, had an annual household income below $14,999; 42.3% had not completed high school. Multiple regression analyses indicate a significant negative association between social support and depression (b=-.31, p<.01); although not significant for anxiety, the association was also negative (b=-.15). Diabetes significantly modified the effects of social support on both depression (b=.48, p<.05, one-tailed) and anxiety (b=.58, p<.05, one-tailed). Specifically, social support was significantly negatively associated with depression (b=-.45, p=.001) and anxiety (b=-.33, p=.05) for non-diabetic women but there was a non-significant positive association between social support and mental distress for women with diabetes. Cultural and gender factors may explain the findings. Public health professionals should assess the role of social supports in buffering the mental decline of their Latina patients with diabetes. Policies to eliminate health disparities could provide for programs that promote mental health in Latinas with diabetes by increasing the effectiveness of informal supports and offering alternative formal support resources.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research and published on the content area. I am the Principal Investigator of the study in which this abstract is based.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.
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