Objectives: Diabetes self-efficacy (confidence in ability to perform diabetes self-care) and personal control (perceived ability to influence diabetes outcomes) have been associated with better T2D self-care and health outcomes. Social cognitive theory posits that both beliefs are necessary for optimal initiation and maintenance of behavior change. However, their independent effects are unclear in T2D, especially in relation to dietary behaviors. We examined the independent associations of self-efficacy and personal control with junk food dietary patterns (JFDP) among predominantly Latino and disadvantaged adults with T2D and explored potential mediating effects.

Methods: Adults with T2D (N = 812; Age = 59.2 (10.8) ; F = 57%; A1C = 9.3 (1.8) ; Latino = 86%; Spanish-speakers = 78.0%) enrolled in a trial of telephonic self-management support, completed self-report measures of diet (Starting the Conversation-STC) , diabetes self-efficacy, and diabetes personal control at baseline. A 5-item JFDP sub-scale of the 8-item STC was supported by factor analysis.

Results: Unlike personal control (r = 0.10, 95% CI = -0.06, 0.08) , self-efficacy was inversely correlated with JFDP (r = -0.16, 95% CI = -0.23, -0.10) . In multivariable analysis, higher self-efficacy had a small independent association with less JFDP (b = -0.02, SE = 0.003, 95% CI = -0.02, -0.01) but perceived control did not (b = -0.04, SE = 0.15, 95% CI = -0.35, 0.29) . Mediation analyses showed no evidence for personal control as a mediator of the relationship between self-efficacy and JFDP.

Conclusion: Among a predominantly Latino, disadvantaged adults with sub-optimally controlled T2D, diabetes self-efficacy was associated with lower reported consumption of junk foods, whereas no effect was observed for personal control. If these associations reflect causal relationships, interventions aiming to reduce junk food consumption in this vulnerable population may have more of an impact by targeting self-efficacy beliefs.


H.Mendez-rodriguez: None. V.H.Jonas: None. L.D.Pappalardo: None. R.Fang: None. C.Schechter: None. E.A.Walker: None. C.J.Hoogendoorn: None. J.S.Gonzalez: Consultant; Virta Health Corp.


National Institute of Health's National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases (1R18DK098742-01A1)

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