Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Perceptions of family-level social factors that influence health behaviors in Latinx adolescents and young adults at high risk for type 2 diabetes
|SOLTERO, ERICA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)|
|NAVABI, NEEKU - Arizona State University|
|CASTRO, FELIPE - Arizona State University|
|AYERS, STEPHANIE - Arizona State University|
|MENDEZ, JENNY - Mountain Park Health Center|
|Thompson, Deborah - Debbe|
|SHAIBI, GABRIEL - Arizona State University|
Submitted to: Children
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2021
Publication Date: 5/18/2021
Citation: Soltero, E.G., Navabi, N., Castro, F.G., Ayers, S.L., Mendez, J., Thompson, D.J., Shaibi, G.Q. 2021. Perceptions of family-level social factors that influence health behaviors in Latinx adolescents and young adults at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Children. 8:406. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8050406.
Interpretive Summary: Hispanic youth and young adults have the highest lifetime risk for type 2 diabetes and there is an urgent need to develop diabetes prevention programs for this population. Improving health behaviors, including diet and physical activity, is a first-line approach to diabetes prevention. These behaviors in youth are shaped by familial influences and relationships. Thus, to develop effective diabetes prevention programs that improve health behaviors, there is a need to understand family-level social factors that impact health behaviors among high-risk Hispanic youth and young adults. In this study, in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 Hispanic adolescents (12-16 years) and 15 young adults (18-24 years) with obesity. Participants were asked questions regarding family practices and influences on health behaviors. In addition to capturing perceptions on family influences of health behaviors, we also examined how these perceptions may differ across sex and age. We found that parental roles and responsibilities within the family including mom's role as the primary caregiver and dad's role as a hard worker and family provider influence health behaviors. While these parental roles were mostly viewed as positive influences on health behaviors, some adolescent females and young adult males and females felt that these roles are sometimes barriers to engaging in health behaviors together. We also found that perceived family social support for health behaviors is an important influence. Adolescents perceived receiving more support compared to young adults and males perceived receiving more support compared to females. Last, interviews revealed that health behaviors in both age groups were shaped through early familial social interactions around physical activity. These insights and findings suggest that when developing diabetes prevention programs for high-risk Hispanic youth and young adults, it is important to address traditional gender roles, encourage social support, and promote early, social interactions between parents and youth around health behaviors.
Technical Abstract: Given that health behaviors occur within the context of familial social relationships, a deeper understanding of social factors that influence health behaviors in Latinx families is needed to develop more effective diabetes prevention programming. This qualitative study aimed identi-fied perceived family-level social factors that influence health behaviors in Latinx adolescents (12-16 years; N=16) and young adults (18-24 years; N=15) with obesity and explored differences in perceptions across sex and age. Participants completed an in-depth interview that was rec-orded, transcribed, and coded using thematic content analysis. Emergent themes central to health behaviors included: Perceived parental roles and responsibilities, perceived family social support for health behaviors, and familial social relationships. Mom's role as primary caregiver and dad's were seen as barriers to engaging in health behaviors among adolescent females and young adults males and females. Adolescents perceived receiving more support compared to young adults and males perceived receiving more support compared to females. Health behav-iors in both age groups were shaped through early familial social interactions around physical activity. These insights suggest that traditional gender roles, social support, and social interac-tion around health behaviors are critical components for family-based diabetes prevention pro-grams in high-risk Latinx youth and young adults.