The Stanford Youth Diabetes Coaches' Program (SYDCP) trains high school students to become diabetes coaches for friends and adult family members. The objective of this study was to assess effects of SYDCP participation on youth and adults from a rural and urban underserved high school community. We used a mixed-methods approach. Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) measures for Pediatric Sense of Meaning and Purpose were measured in high school students. PROMIS Adult Global Health and Self-Efficacy was measured in coached adults. Paired t tests compared pre- and postintervention and 6-month follow-up scores. Thematic analysis was used to analyze focus group discussion of adults. Twenty-five students participated, 15 students coached adults with diabetes or prediabetes. Students' sense of meaning and purpose significantly improved postintervention compared to preintervention. Diet and physical activity behaviors improved. Adolescent-adult relationships mediated participation benefits. Our study showed SYDCP improved adolescents' sense of meaning and purpose. In addition, youth and adult relatedness led to improved health behaviors. These findings have important implications, as a sense of purpose and youth-adult connectedness are associated with health behaviors and psychological well-being. Further larger studies of health education programs that engage related youth-adult dyads and assess long-term behaviors and health outcomes are needed.
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