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Activating Communal Coping Related to Diabetes Risk in Mexican-Heritage Families

Lin, Jielu PhD; Myers, Melanie F. PhD; Wilkinson, Anna V. PhD; Koehly, Laura M. PhD

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000234
Original Articles

We investigate how interpersonal ties influence communication about type 2 diabetes risk and encouragement to maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle between family members of Mexican heritage, after a family history-based risk assessment intervention. Results suggest that individuals are more likely to initiate risk communication with another family member if they are close to, already seek advice from, or discuss health with him or her. Risk communication precedes encouragement, which is initiated by the older generation of the family. Understanding the role of interpersonal relationships in Mexican-heritage families can help identify who best to target in future health behavior interventions.

Department of Sociology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona (Dr Lin); National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Drs Lin and Koehly); Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center & Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Myers); and Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Science, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin, Texas (Dr Wilkinson).

Correspondence: Jielu Lin, PhD, Department of Sociology, Northern Arizona University, 5 E McConnell Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (

Jielu Lin and Melanie F. Myers equally contributed to this study.

This research is supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute (ZIAHG200335 to L.M.K.), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (K18DK095473 to M.F.M.), and a National Cancer Institute grant (K07CA126988 to A.V.W). The mano a mano cohort is supported by funds collected pursuant to the Comprehensive Tobacco Settlement of 1998 and appropriated by the 76th legislature to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and by the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Health & Human Services or the US government.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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