Family predictors of disease management over one year in Latino and European American patients with type 2 diabetes

Fam Process. Fall 2003;42(3):375-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2003.00375.x.


Family context is thought to influence chronic disease management but few studies have longitudinally examined these relationships. Research on families and chronic illness has focused almost exclusively on European American families. In this prospective study we tested a multidimensional model of family influence on disease management in type 2 diabetes in a bi-ethnic sample of European Americans and Latinos. Specifically, we tested how baseline family characteristics (structure, world view, and emotion management) predicted change in disease management over one year in 104 European American and 57 Latino patients with type 2 diabetes. We found that emotion management predicted change in disease management in both groups of patients as hypothesized, while family world view predicted change in both ethnic groups but in the predicted direction only for European Americans. Examining family context within ethnic groups is required to elucidate unique cultural patterns. Attending to culturally unique interpretations of constructs and measures is warranted. The import of family emotion management, specifically conflict resolution, in disease management deserves further study to support clinical intervention development. Examining multiple domains of family life and multidimensional health outcomes strengthens our capacity to develop theory about family contexts and individual health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires