Date of Conferral





Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) continues to rise and is predicted to increase to 30 million people by 2030 in the United Sates alone. African Americans (AA) have one of the highest prevalence rates of T2D among all ethnic groups. African American Women (AAW) are 100% more likely to develop T2D compared with their white counterparts. The aim of this study was to quantitatively investigate the relationship of the perceptions of AAW not previously identified that could lead to a reduction in risk of T2D among AAW. A cross-sectional study of 183 AAW 20 to 65 years old was conducted to identify any correlation among the variables, using validated surveys. The participants were recruited via flyers and online. The health belief model and the theory of planned behavior served as the theoretical framework. Spearman's rho correlation was used to determine the strength of the correlations. The majority of respondents had moderate to high lifestyle and behavior changes relative to diet (59%) and blood sugar testing (93%), as well as low participation for exercise (62%). The majority of the AAW had low awareness of T2D severity (72%), low interference to daily activities (88%), and low social support for diabetes management (74%). A significant correlation was observed between healthy diet and severity, interference, outcome expectancies, and self-efficacy (p < .001). A significant relationship was found between exercise and severity, interference, outcome expectancies, and self-efficacy (p < .001). This study may inspire social change by creating awareness among healthcare workers regarding educational resources, environmental changes, and community interventions to reduce the economic burden associated with health care costs, to mitigate T2D, and to reduce health disparity.

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