Social support, psychosocial adaptation, and glycemic control in non-insulin dependent diabetic African American and Caucasian women




Vaughan, Verla

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A descriptive, two-group, nonexperimental design was used to investigate differences in perceived social support and perceived psychosocial adaptation in African American and Caucasian American women who were middle-aged, middle income, and had noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Relationships between perceived social support and glycemic control and perceived psychosocial adaptation and glycemic control were also examined. The Roy Adaptation Model provided the framework for this study.

A convenience sample of 33 African American and 33 Caucasian American women participated in this study. Data were collected in private physicians' offices. Participants completed questionnaires while waiting for scheduled visits with their physicians. The Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire (NSSQ) was used to measure social support, the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness-Self Report (PAIS-SR) was used to measure psychosocial adaptation, and hemoglobin A1\sbc (HbA1\sbc) was used to measure glycemic control.

Results indicated that the African American women perceived more aid (material assistance) social support (U=372.5, p=.02) than did Caucasian American women. Caucasian American women reported more perceived psychological distress (t=2.17, df=64, p=.03) than African American women. There was no significant relationship between perceived social support and glycemic control in either group of women. In the Caucasian American group there were significant relationships between the PAIS-SR subscales of Domestic Environment (r=.57, p≤.05), Sexual Relationships (r=.46, p≤.05), Social Environment (r=.36, p≤.01), Psychological Distress (r=.53, p≤.05), Total score (r=.56, p≤.05), and glycemic control. However, no significant relationships were found between PAIS-SR total score or subscales and glycemic control in the African American group. A significant difference was found in glycemic control between the two groups. African American women had higher HbA1\sbc levels (M=8.21, SD=1.33, p=.02) than the Caucasian American group (M=7.56, SD=.89, p=.02).



Social support, Women, African American women