Predictors of HbA1c Trajectories in Predominantly Black Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes


Objective: Following the Journal of Pediatric Psychology's special edition on health disparities, calling for Phase 2 research exploring mechanisms of racial groups in health disparities, this study aims to explore social information processing predictors of longitudinal hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) trajectories in a racially diverse group of adolescents. The social information processing model of glycemic control in type 1 diabetes (T1D) posits that adolescents who make negative attributions about reactions of friends are likely to find adherence difficult in social situations, have increased stress, and have suboptimal glycemic control. Methods: One hundred eighty-four youth with T1D completed self-report measures and HbA1c at three time points within 1 year was extracted from medical records. Growth mixture modeling empirically derived classes of HbA1c trajectories and explored predictive relationships of social information processing variables, demographics, and diabetes characteristics. Results: Three classes emerged: High Decelerating, Mid-High Accelerating, and Near-Optimal Accelerating. Black/African American participants were highly likely to be in the High and Mid-High groups. Higher anticipated adherence difficulties in social situations predicted increased odds of being in the Mid-High versus Near-Optimal HbA1c group. Increased diabetes stress predicted increased odds of being in the High versus Near-Optimal and Mid-High groups. Conclusions: Continuing research on mechanisms behind this health disparity is necessary with more representation from varied racial and ethnic groups. Equal access to diabetes technology and psychosocial treatments are recommended and implications for clinical intervention development are discussed.

Publication Title

Journal of Pediatric Psychology