Date of Conferral
Diabetes, a chronic disease with devastating but preventable consequences, is common in the United States, especially within African American communities. Earlier research has indicated that 21.7% of African American parents have children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the Mississippi Delta Region. Researchers have examined coping, stress, and behaviors of African American parents of children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes; however, there is a gap in literature regarding how African American parents can cope with stress and how changes in health behavior due to Type 1 diabetes impact African American families. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of African American parents, examining how they can cope with stress and how their families are impacted by the changes in health behavior due to Type 1 diabetes. The transtheoretical model, used to evaluate a person's preparedness to pursue a new healthier behavior, was applied. Through semi-structured interviews, data collected from 13 families were recorded, transcribed, and coded into themes. Phenomenological data analysis was performed based on the descriptive technique, using a computer-based NVivo model and preset codes. In this study, African Americans are likely to accept and acknowledge the impact of denial as a coping mechanism, while accepting the behavioral changes, and this will likely alert professionals in this field of study. Also, this will lead to a positive social change in the study of Type 1 Diabetes.