Objectives: Little is known about temporal trajectories of social support in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and how they are associated with diabetes-related outcomes. This study identified and explored different trajectories of social support in a community sample of adults with T2D, as well as the extent to which different trajectories were prospectively associated with depressive symptoms and functional disability.
Methods: Data came from five annual waves of the Evaluation of Diabetes Treatment study (N = 1077). Social support, depressive symptoms, and functional disability were assessed via self-report. Separate analyses were conducted to examine the associations between social support trajectories, depressive symptoms, and functional disability, adjusting for demographic characteristics, diabetes-related covariates, and baseline depressive symptoms and functional disability.
Results: Latent class growth modeling identified four distinct social support trajectories. Trajectory Groups 1 and 2 comprised participants with persistently low and persistently moderate-low social support, respectively. Trajectory Groups 3 and 4 included participants with persistently moderate-high and persistently high social support, respectively. People with persistently low social support reported higher functional disability relative to those with persistently moderate-high and persistently high social support.
Conclusions: The findings of the present study indicate that temporal patterns of social support are a predictor of future functional disability among adults with T2D.
Keywords: community-based; depressive symptoms; functional disability; longitudinal; social support; type 2 diabetes.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.