Diabetes Family Health History among College Students
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Obesity rates have dramatically increased in prevalence among children and adolescents. This increase is complemented by the appearance and increasing prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2D). The numbers of youth with T2D are estimated to increase from 22,820 people in 2010 to 84,131 people in 2050. The purpose of this dissertation was to: 1) Determine what the extant scientific literature reports on the association between T2D family history status and T2D related-preventive behaviors, 2) Examine differences in T2D knowledge (behavioral and genetic) among college students with and without a family history of T2D, and assess the influence of demographic characteristics (age, biological sex, BMI, race and marital status) and 3) Use Structural Equation Modelling procedures to assess the relative impact of behavioral intention, attitude, perceptions (risk and severity), family history and demographic factors (age, biological sex, BMI, race and marital status) on T2D related-preventive behaviors among college students. The systematic literature review included 11 studies. We found that majority of the studies provide supportive evidence for the association between a positive T2D family history status and engagement in various protective behaviors such as healthy diets, physical activity and T2D routine screening. However the evidence was inconsistent. We also found that the conceptualization and operationalization of family history status as a construct varied among studies which could possible impact the results. The second part of the dissertation employed a cross-sectional survey design technique. Data were collected via web-based survey using Qualtrics. A total of 7,600 students were contacted and 909 responded (12% response rate). Participants were undergraduate students (18 or older) enrolled full time or part-time in four colleges/Universities across a large southwestern state. ANOVA, correlations, multiple regression and structural equation analysis were used to answer the study questions using SPSS 2.0. We found that there was lower T2D genetic knowledge than there was for T2D behavior-related knowledge. Whites had much higher T2D knowledge than minority populations. Age and BMI were significantly related to increased T2D knowledge, and students with a family history of T2D generally knew more about causes of T2D than those without a family history. The conceptual model showed differing paths in both groups (those with and those without a T2D family history). The results of this study suggest that tailored lifestyle interventions based on T2D family history group that assesses health beliefs/perceptions and emphasizes approaches for preventing T2D may be an effective strategy for reducing the burden of T2D.
Amuta, Ann Oyare (2015). Diabetes Family Health History among College Students. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from