Illness perceptions as a mediator between emotional distress and management self-efficacy among Chinese Americans with type 2 diabetes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives: Emotional distress and illness perceptions have been linked to patients' self-efficacy for diabetes management. This study, guided by Leventhal's Self-Regulatory Model, explores the direct effects of emotional distress (diabetes distress and depressive symptoms) on diabetes management self-efficacy, and the indirect effects through illness perceptions among Chinese Americans with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).Design: Data were obtained from a cross-sectional study of Chinese Americans with T2DM recruited from health fairs and other community settings (N=155, 47.1% male, mean age 69.07 years). Data analyses including descriptive statistics, correlation, and PROCESS mediation models were used to examine the mediation effects of illness perceptions.Results: Diabetes distress and depressive symptoms had direct negative effects on self-efficacy. Perceived treatment control mediated the association between diabetes distress and self-efficacy, while none of the illness perceptions dimensions impacted the relationship between depressive symptoms and self-efficacy.Conclusion: Improved perceptions of treatment control can ameliorate diabetes distress and improve diabetes management self-efficacy among Chinese Americans. Health providers should elicit patients' illness perceptions as a first step in evaluating their diabetes management self-efficacy and provide appropriate culturally-tailored interventions.

published proceedings

  • Ethn Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, Y., Zuiga, J., & Garca, A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Huang, Ya-Ching||Zuñiga, Julie||García, Alexandra

publication date

  • January 2022