We validated longitudinally a typology of diabetes-specific family functioning (named Collaborative and Helpful, Satisfied with Low Involvement, Want More Involvement, and Critically Involved) in adults with type 2 diabetes.


We conducted k-means cluster analyses with nine dimensions to determine if the typology replicated in a diverse sample and if type assignment was robust to variations in sampling and included dimensions. In a subsample with repeated assessments over 9 months, we examined the stability and validity of the typology. We also applied a multinomial logistic regression approach to make the typology usable at the individual level, like a diagnostic tool.


Participants (N = 717) were 51% male, more than one-third reported minority race or ethnicity, mean age was 57 years, and mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was 7.9% (63 mmol/mol; 8.7% [72 mmol/mol] for the longitudinal subsample). The typology was replicated with respect to the number of types and dimension patterns. Type assignment was robust to sampling variations (97% consistent across simulations). Type had an average 52% stability over time within participants; instability was not explained by measurement error. Over 9 months, type was independently associated with HbA1c, diabetes self-efficacy, diabetes medication adherence, diabetes distress, and depressive symptoms (all P < 0.05).


The typology of diabetes-specific family functioning was replicated, and longitudinal analyses suggest type is more of a dynamic state than a stable trait. However, type varies with diabetes self-management and well-being over time as a consistent independent indicator of outcomes. The typology is ready to be applied to further precision medicine approaches to behavioral and psychosocial diabetes research and care.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.24061383.

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