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

Document Type


Date of Original Version



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.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

American Journal of Health Promotion