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This study investigated how ethnicity, perceived family/friend social support (FSS), and health behaviors are associated with diabetes self-management (DSM) in minorities. The participants were recruited by community outreach methods and included 174 Cuban-, 121 Haitian- and 110 African-Americans with type 2 diabetes. The results indicated that ethnicity and FSS were associated with DSM. Higher FSS scores were associated with higher DSM scores, independent of ethnicity. There were ethnic differences in several elements of FSS. DSM was highest in Haitian- as compared to African-Americans; yet Haitian Americans had poorer glycemic control. The findings suggest FSS together with ethnicity may influence critical health practices. Studies are needed that further investigate the relationships among minorities with diabetes, their intimate network (family and friends) and the diabetes care process.


Originally published in Journal of Nutrition and Health



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