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Risk Perceptions for Developing Type 2 Diabetes among Overweight and Obese Adolescents with and without a Family History of Type 2 Diabetes

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Objectives: Examine risk perceptions among overweight and obese adolescents for developing Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) compared to their peers, in adulthood and in their lifetime. Methods: Participants (N = 319) were overweight/obese college-aged students. Multiple linear regression analyses examined the predictive relationship of the independent variables on comparative, absolute and 5-year perceived risk for developing T2D. Results: Female adolescents (β=0.186, p < .05), those with a T2D family history (β=0.147, p < .05) and BMI (β=0.315, p < .05), had a positive statistically significant relationship with comparative, absolute, and 5-year T2D risk perceptions. Although most respondents reported behavioral risk factors for developing T2D, behavioral causal belief had no statistically significant (p > .05) association with personal T2D risk assessment. Conclusions: The at-risk participants in this investigation primarily based their T2D risk assessment on non-modifiable factors, possible undervaluing the influence of behavioral risk and protective factors. Future work should seek to improve awareness of the influence of behavioral factors and also seek to increase the perceived risk of not engaging in protective behaviors such as physical activity and weight management.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Department of Health Studies, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX;, Email: [email protected] 2: Associate Professor, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 3: Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, TX

Publication date: 01 November 2015

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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