Date of Conferral





Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are significant public health issues that affect people of all races; Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects African Americans with higher diagnosis, morbidity, and mortality than it affects Caucasians, and Type 1 has been increasing in incidence. Diabetes self-care activities (DSCAs) and social support have been shown to help in managing both types, which can reduce morbidity and mortality. African Americans with diabetes in San Francisco have higher rates of complications, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits secondary to diabetes. This study assessed whether a relationship exists between emotional support, practical support, affirmational support, informational support, and self-care behaviors. This cross-sectional study was guided by the health belief model and social cognitive theory and was conducted using the Summary of Diabetes Self Care Activities (SDSCA) and the Social Support Survey Instrument. The median SDSCA score for performance of diabetes self-care activities was 32. The Spearman correlation between informational support and the SDSCA score was positively statistically significant (p < .002), and the affectionate support score was also positively correlated with the SDSCA score (p < .0001). The emotional support and the practical/tangible support scores were negatively correlated to the SDSCA score, but the correlation was not statistically significant. The results of this study may help to effect social change by encouraging provision of informational support with diabetes self-management education and affectionate support by including family and friends in their care process. This provision could lead to improvement in DSCAs and reduction of hospitalizations and emergency room visits among African Americans.