142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Black women's life course experiences with type II diabetes in their social networks: Implications for diabetes beliefs and practices

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Johanna D. Eldridge, ABD , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Carol M. Devine, PhD, RD , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Background: Empirical research has shown that experiences with family members’ and friends’ diabetes can influence how a person with diabetes thinks about and manages his or her own diabetes. However, it is not well understood how the diverse nature (e.g. intensity, duration, relationship type) of these experiences can influence a diabetic’s current diabetes beliefs and practices. For example, knowledge of a parent taking insulin to manage diabetes is qualitatively different from being personally tasked with injecting a parent’s insulin.

Methods: This research explored how 15 Black women recently diagnosed with type II diabetes experienced their first one to three years after diagnosis. Each woman completed three qualitative interviews over nine months; interviews also included a systematic personal network assessment. Interview data were analyzed using the constant comparative method.

Results: Participants described diverse observations and interactions with both living and deceased kin, fictive kin, and friends with diabetes.  Findings include how their life course experiences with others’ diabetes influenced beliefs regarding diabetes causation, perceived risks and predictability of complications, taking medication, and making diabetes-related behavior changes. Findings also highlight mechanisms by which intergenerational transmission of ways of knowing about type II diabetes are potentially reproduced or disrupted, including how diabetes is represented to children. 

Implications: Public health practitioners should consider how black women’s life course and social network experiences with diabetes may frame their reception of public health messages about diabetes to inform the development of effective communications.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe Black women’s diverse experiences with diabetes in their social networks over the life course. Discuss how Black women’s experiences with others’ diabetes can influence women's own diabetes beliefs and practices.

Keyword(s): Family Involvement, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in Community Nutrition and this abstract is a product of my dissertation research that employs longitudinal qualitative and social network methods to explore the experiences of Black women newly diagnosed with type II diabetes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.