Diabetes stress and health: Is aging a strength or a vulnerability?
The purpose of this work was to examine (1) relations of diabetes stress to psychological well-being and health, (2) links of age to such outcomes and (3) the extent to which age moderated relations from diabetes stress to outcomes. These aims were addressed in a diverse community sample of 207 individuals recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, employing survey and daily diary methods. Participants reported age, diabetes distress, and psychological distress at baseline and 6 months later. Glycemic control also was assessed. Participants completed a 14-day daily diary protocol in which they reported daily diabetes stressors, mood, and self-care. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal results showed diabetes distress was associated with poorer outcomes. Daily diary data showed that individuals who reported more daily diabetes stressors reported poorer outcomes. Older age was linked to less psychological distress, but was unrelated to daily diabetes stressors. Older age attenuated relations of diabetes distress to outcomes.
KeywordsDiabetes Stress Aging
We are grateful to Pamela Snyder for her overall management of the project and the data to Courtney Armstrong, Emma Bright, Shaquille Charles, Gianna Davis, Aarohee Fulay, Tiona Jones, Katilyn Mascatelli, Jennifer Melynk, Jeanean Naqvi, and Charis Vanderpuye for interviewing the participants and to the participants who so graciously gave their time to this study. Portions of these data were presented at the 2019 Society of Behavioral Medicine conference.
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health R01 DK095780 and received assistance from the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant UL1TR000005.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Vicki S. Helgeson, Meredith Van Vleet, Melissa Zajdel declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Bolger, N., & Laurenceau, J.-P. (2013). Intensive longitudinal methods: An introduction to diary and experience sampling research. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Carstensen, L. L., Turan, B., Scheibe, S., Ram, N., Ersner-Hershfield, H., Samanez-Larkin, G. R., et al. (2011). Emotional experience improves with age: Evidence based on over 10 years of experience sampling. Psychology and Aging,26, 21–33. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021285 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017a). National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Atlanta, GA: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017b). Long-term Trends in Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation.Google Scholar
- English, T., & Carstensen, L. (2016). Socioemotional selectivity theory. In N. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of geropsychology. Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
- Fisher, L., Polonsky, W. H., Hessler, D. M., Masharani, U., Blumer, I., Peters, A. L., et al. (2015). Understanding the sources of diabetes distress in adults with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications,29, 572–577. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.01.012 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Helgeson, V. S., Naqvi, J. B., Seltman, H., Vaughn, A. K., Korytkowski, M., Hausmann, L.R.M., & Gary-Webb, T. L. (in press). Links of communal coping to relationship and psychological health in type 2 diabetes: Actor-partner interdependence models involving role, sex, and race Annals of Behavioral Medicine.Google Scholar
- Tanenbaum, M. L., Ritholz, M. D., Binko, D. H., Baek, R. N., Shreck, M. S. E., & Gonzalez, J. S. (2013). Probing for depression and finding diabetes: A mixed-methods analysis of depression interviews with adults treated for type 2 diabetes. Journal of Affective Disorders,150, 533–539. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.029 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Toobert, D. J., & Glasgow, R. E. (1994). Assessing diabetes self-management: The summary of diabetes self-care activities questionnaire (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Eugene, Oregon.Google Scholar