Examining protective and buffering associations between sociocultural factors and adverse childhood experiences among American Indian adults with type 2 diabetes: a quantitative, community-based participatory research approach

Teresa N Brockie, Jessica H L Elm, Melissa L Walls
BMJ Open 2018 September 19, 8 (9): e022265

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of select adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among a sample of American Indian (AI) adults living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the associations between ACEs and self-rated physical and mental health. We also examined associations between sociocultural factors and health, including possible buffering processes.

DESIGN: Survey data for this observational study were collected using computer-assisted survey interviewing techniques between 2013 and 2015.

SETTING: Participants were randomly selected from AI tribal clinic facilities on five reservations in the upper Midwestern USA.

PARTICIPANTS: Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of T2D, age 18 years or older and self-identified as AI. The sample includes n=192 adults (55.7% female; mean age=46.3 years).

PRIMARY MEASURES: We assessed nine ACEs related to household dysfunction and child maltreatment. Independent variables included social support, diabetes support and two cultural factors: spiritual activities and connectedness. Primary outcomes were self-rated physical and mental health.

RESULTS: An average of 3.05 ACEs were reported by participants and 81.9% (n=149) said they had experienced at least one ACE. Controlling for gender, age and income, ACEs were negatively associated with self-rated physical and mental health (p<0.05). Connectedness and social support were positively and significantly associated with physical and mental health. Involvement in spiritual activities was positively associated with mental health and diabetes-specific support was positively associated with physical health. Social support and diabetes-specific social support moderated associations between ACEs and physical health.

CONCLUSIONS: This research demonstrates inverse associations between ACEs and well-being of adult AI patients with diabetes. The findings further demonstrate the promise of social and cultural integration as a critical component of wellness, a point of relevance for all cultures. Health professionals can use findings from this study to augment their assessment of patients and guide them to health-promoting social support services and resources for cultural involvement.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"