Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1071–1081 | Cite as

Psychosocial Impacts of Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management in a Rural African-American Population

Original Paper


This qualitative study explored the underlying psychosocial factors and conditions that may influence type 2 diabetes (T2D) self-management among adult T2D-diagnosed African Americans in the Arkansas Delta. Listening to participants’ narratives in their own voices provided meaningful insights in their real-life experiences of T2D-related psychological and emotional challenges in African American social cultural contexts. Self-determination theory was used to conceptualize the participants’ motivations for making health behavior changes. Using purposive sampling, 31 participants total (16 women and 15 men) were interviewed. The study participants described their (1) concern over prescribed dietary and physical exercise guidelines as impractical and culturally not relevant to them; (2) doubts over the availability of social supports necessary to implement T2D self-management; and (3) fatalistic expectations of negative outcomes that undermined their self-motivation to follow self-management guidelines. Specific strategies for developing culturally competent T2D selfmanagement guidelines and community-based communication outreach initiatives are discussed.


African Americans Rural Type 2 diabetes Psychosocial impacts Self-management Self-determination theory Intervention 



This study was supported by a grant to Gauri Bhattacharya from the National Historically Black College and University Health Disparity Program. The author is grateful to the study participants for offering their experiences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Work, College of Nursing and Health ProfessionsArkansas State University-JonesboroJonesboroUSA

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