Journal of Community Health

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 155–170 | Cite as

Characteristics of Low-Income African-American and Caucasian Adults That Are Important in Self-Management of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Ruby H. Cox
  • John Paul Carpenter
  • Franklin A. Bruce
  • Kathleen P. Poole
  • Clark K. Gaylord


Incidence of type 2 diabetes has greatly increased in the US, with over 90 percent having type 2. A cross-sectional, self-report survey was conducted for the purpose of assessing characteristics associated with self-management of type 2 diabetes (attitudes, certain behaviors, and perceived knowledge) among low-income Caucasian and African-American adults enrolled in the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP). At the time of the study, almost 11 percent of FSNEP adult participants (457 individuals) throughout the state had type 2 diabetes. Among 196 subjects interviewed for the study, 86 were Caucasian (44%) and 100 (51%) were African-American. Results indicated that over three-fourths of subjects had been counseled on diet and exercise, but less that half were following dietary recommendations and only one-fourth were getting adequate exercise. No significant differences were found between the two race groups on assessed characteristics or among subjects grouped by place of residence (p ≤ 0.01). Significant correlations were found among subjects' characteristics, including perceived health status, perceived knowledge of diabetes, attitudes towards diabetes, meal-plan adherence, perceived barriers to physical activity, and reported diabetes control (p ≤ 0.0001). Findings imply that (a) self-management education for type 2 diabetes does not need to be different for African-Americans vs. Caucasians in southern states and (b) best disease control is achieved when those with type 2 diabetes have a high degree of knowledge of diabetes, positive attitudes, good meal plan adherence, and few perceived barriers to physical activity.

type 2 diabetes self-management of diabetes African-Americans and diabetes Caucasians and diabetes 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruby H. Cox
    • 1
  • John Paul Carpenter
    • 2
  • Franklin A. Bruce
    • 3
  • Kathleen P. Poole
    • 3
  • Clark K. Gaylord
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and ExerciseVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityBlacksburg
  2. 2.University of VirginiaCharlottesville
  3. 3.Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburg

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