Legacy of diabetes and self-care behavior

Melissa Scollan-Koliopoulos, Kathleen A. O'Connell, Elizabeth A. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The effect of multigenerational legacies of diabetes on health beliefs and behaviors was explored. Diabetic participants (N = 123) with family histories of diabetes responded to survey questions about their own diabetes self-care behavior, illness representation (including consequences and controllability of diabetes), recollection of a family member's illness representation and complications, and perceived social consequences of diabetes. Recollections about family members' disease controllability (r = .21, p < .05) and social consequences (r = -.19, p < .05) and participants' own perceptions of controllability were significantly related. Significant associations were also found between perceptions of controllability and general and social consequences with medication adherence (ß=-.33, ß=-36, and β= -.43, respectively, all p <. 05). Findings suggest that explorations of patients' recollections of a family member's experiences with diabetes can affect their illness perceptions and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Family illness representation
  • Insulin and medication adherence
  • Multigenerational legacy
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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