Executive function (EF) impairment is associated with poorer outcomes for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Previous research has identified risk factors for EF impairment, but many of these are also associated with type 2 diabetes. To address this issue, this study identified relevant variables from the literature and compared their association with EF in a sample of people with type 2 diabetes.


Adult members of a Medicaid health plan diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in a social needs intervention trial. Using baseline data from the trial, bivariate and multivariable regression analyses examined associations between EF and demographic, health, and psychosocial factors.


When controlling for other factors, we identified six significant correlates of EF impairment: age (β = 0.10), education (college vs. no college; β = −0.38), depression symptoms (β = 0.18), comorbidity burden (β = 0.21), diabetes-related distress (β = 0.14), and future time orientation (β = −0.13).


Our analysis identified several factors associated with greater EF impairment, which may interfere with diabetes self-management. Providers should consider these factors when prescribing treatments and determine whether additional resources or accommodations are warranted.

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