Theoretical Mediators of Diabetes Risk and Quality of Life Following a Diabetes Prevention Program for Latino Youth With Obesity

Erica G. Soltero, Stephanie L. Ayers, Marvyn A. Avalos, Armando Peña, Allison N. Williams, Micah L. Olson, Yolanda P. Konopken, Felipe G. Castro, Kimberly J. Arcoleo, Colleen Keller, Donald L. Patrick, Justin Jager, Gabriel Q. Shaibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study tested self-efficacy and social support for activity and dietary changes as mediators of changes in type 2 diabetes related outcomes following a lifestyle intervention among Latino youth. Setting and Intervention: Latino adolescents (14-16 years) with obesity (BMI% = 98.1 ± 1.4) were randomized to a 3-month intervention (n = 67) that fostered self-efficacy and social support through weekly, family-centered sessions or a comparison condition (n = 69). Measures: Primary outcomes included insulin sensitivity and weight specific quality of life. Mediators included self-efficacy, friend, and family social support for health behaviors. Data was collected at baseline, 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months. Analysis: Sequential path analysis was used to examine mediators as mechanisms by which the intervention influenced primary outcomes. Results: The intervention had a direct effect on family (β = 0.33, P <.01) and friend social support (β = 0.22, P <.001) immediately following the intervention (3-months). Increased family social support mediated the intervention’s effect on self-efficacy at 6-months (β = 0.09, P <.01). However, social support and self-efficacy did not mediate long-term changes in primary outcomes (P >.05) at 12-months. Conclusions: Family social support may improve self-efficacy for health behaviors in high-risk Latino youth, highlighting the important role of family diabetes prevention. Fostering family social support is a critical intervention target and more research is needed to understand family-level factors that have the potential to lead to long-term metabolic and psychosocial outcome in vulnerable youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-947
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Latino health
  • adolescents
  • diabetes prevention
  • family
  • theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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