The relation between diabetes self-efficacy and psychological distress among older adults: do racial and ethnic differences exist?

J Aging Health. 2015 Mar;27(2):320-33. doi: 10.1177/0898264314549662. Epub 2014 Sep 17.


Objective: This study examined racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between diabetes self-efficacy and psychological distress among older adults with diabetes mellitus.

Method: Adults aged 60 or older with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (N = 3,067) were drawn from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted.

Results: After controlling for covariates, African Americans and those with higher levels of diabetes self-efficacy tended to have lower levels of psychological distress. Significant interactions were found in the Hispanic/Latino and Asian groups: The effect of diabetes self-efficacy on psychological distress was greater for Hispanics/Latinos and Asians than non-Hispanic Whites.

Discussion: Findings suggest that diabetes self-efficacy is associated with psychological distress among older diabetic patients and that race/ethnicity moderates the relationship between diabetes self-efficacy and psychological distress. Increasing diabetes self-efficacy will help racial/ethnic minority older patients with diabetes to improve psychological well-being at a greater level.

Keywords: diabetes; health disparities; psychological distress; race/ethnicity; self-efficacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Asian / statistics & numerical data
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • California
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • White People / psychology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data