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Journal Article

Social Relationships and Health Among Chinese Americans With Diabetes: Does Age Make a Difference?

This study examined whether social relationships were linked to health among Chinese Americans with diabetes, and whether age moderated these links given the norm of respect for the elderly. Chinese American immigrants with type 2 diabetes (n= 163) provided questionnaire and laboratory data. Relationships were assessed with diabetes family instrumental support, emotional support, and conflicts, as well as general support. Health was assessed with subjective health, depressive symptoms, and glucose regulation. When relationship predictors were examined simultaneously, more conflicts and less general support were associated with more depressive symptoms, after adjusting for covariates. More emotional support was associated with better glucose regulation only for midlife, not older, participants. Findings underscore cultural and life-stage considerations in studying social determinants of health.

C.M.L. Kwan
J.T. Mullan
K.M. Chun
Y. Kwong
L. Hsu
C.A. Chesla
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