Latina women who do not feel supported have a harder time making healthy lifestyle choices to help their diabetes.
More About Latina Women, Diabetes and Social Support
In general, social support, healthy lifestyle behaviors, fewer barriers, and higher levels of self-efficacy are associated with better management of diabetes for Latinos. This study found that some of these factors are different for Latino women versus men, impacting their ability to manage their diabetes.
One way in which women and men are different is the level of social support received. Latino men are more likely to receive support in managing their diabetes and engaging in healthy behaviors than women. The Latina women in this study felt they received lower levels of support than what they wanted to receive. The women would often report that their family discouraged them from eating healthy and exercising regularly, whereas men did not face these same challenges as often.
This difference between Latino men and women could be related to cultural factors such as traditional gender roles and the importance of family. For example, for Latina women, family responsibilities may be prioritized over their individual needs and personal goals such as eating healthier food and exercising regularly. As a result, Latina women were less self-confident in achieving their goals compared to men. In addition, women were less likely to take care of themselves.
Lack of support is a huge barrier for Latina women with diabetes. These important sex differences among Latinos with type 2 diabetes could explain why Latina women are more at risk of poor glycemic control. In summary, Latina women are less likely to receive support and face more barriers compared to men, leading to less self-care and self-efficacy.
Photo provided by Mil Familias © 2018.