The Association between Family Functioning and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Mexican American Adolescents




Fulda, Kimberly
Faries, Robert
Tao, Menghua
Franks, Susan


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Purpose: It is well documented that Mexican Americans have a disproportionately higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). While this disparity has been well documented among the adult Mexican American population, research is lacking within the adolescent population and the association between socioeconomic factors and risk for developing T2DM has not been extensively investigated. Therefore, this study aimed to address this gap by investigating family functioning and how it relates to the risk for developing T2DM. Methods: The study's sample was comprised of 144 Mexican American adolescents 10-14 years of age and a parent/legal guardian. Parents completed questionnaires related to family functioning and risk for developing T2DM, and a family functioning score and risk for T2DM were derived from their responses. Multiple logistic regression was performed, and ORs and 95% CIs were calculated. Results: 45 adolescents (31.3%) had at least 3 of 5 risk factors for T2DM. The mean family functioning score was 3.74 (STD =1.30). Family functioning was not associated with being high risk for T2DM [OR=0.898; 95% CI (0.673-1.198)]. Conclusions: The results demonstrated no statistically significant relationship between family functioning and risk for developing T2DM in the Mexican American adolescent population. The role of social factors, such as family functioning, in the development of risk for T2DM in this population is not fully understood and should be further investigated so that medical providers can better tailor care to this at-risk population.