Date of Award:

2001

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Kevin S. Masters

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus is a serious problem that affects 15.7 million individuals in the United States. The complications of this disease are catastrophic and can lead to blindness, kidney disease, lower limb amputations, nerve damage, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and death. Among Native Americans, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. A variety of psychosocial variables has demonstrated relationships to diabetic outcome. Past research has shown a relationship between psychological variables and glucose control. The current study of Native Americans shows a similar pattern using the psychosocial instruments to measure the constructs of depression, anger, hostility, social support, and perceived stress. Participants for this study were part of the Strong Heart Study and were 512 Native Americans from tribes in South Dakota and Oklahoma between the ages of 46 - 77. This study shows a relationship between the variables of anger, depression and hostility, and glyciemic control. A relationship between social support, perceived stress, and depression was found to be related to reported quality of life in participants who were either diabetic or had impaired glucose tolerance.

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