Original Paper

Journal of Community Health

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 23-26

First online:

Teen Peer Educators and Diabetes Knowledge of Low-Income Fifth Grade Students

  • Karen J. ColemanAffiliated withDepartment of Research and Evaluation, Southern California Permanente Medical Group Email author 
  • , Andrea Yoder ClarkAffiliated withYoder Clark Consulting
  • , Maggie ShordonAffiliated withDepartment of Research and Evaluation, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
  • , Leticia L. OcanaAffiliated withScripps Whittier Diabetes Institute
  • , Chris WalkerAffiliated withScripps Whittier Diabetes Institute
  • , Rachel A. AraujoAffiliated withScripps Whittier Diabetes Institute
  • , Jesica Oratowski-ColemanAffiliated withDepartment of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Diego
  • , Athena Philis-TsimikasAffiliated withScripps Whittier Diabetes Institute

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The current study was designed to evaluate a unique adolescent peer type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM) prevention training program for fifth grade children. Peer educators were 22 high school students who participated in the Elementary Institute of Science’s Commission on Science that Matters, a year-long program promoting active participation in the health and environmental sciences. Peer education was delivered in the form of a two hour health fair. A knowledge survey was given to fifth grade students in the classroom before the health fair began and then again in the classroom after the health fair. Fifth grade students were able to correctly identify Type 1 DM (23 vs. 40%; P < .01), Type 2 DM (21 vs. 52%; P < .001), and the signs of diabetes (10 vs. 39%; P < .001) after the health fair. This approach could be inexpensively integrated into any community-based health promotion with children and adolescents.


Youth development Peer mentoring Diabetes