Perceived risk of developing diabetes in early adulthood: beliefs about inherited and behavioral risk factors across the life course. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to determine how college students perceive their risk of developing diabetes over their life course, with specific emphasis on their beliefs about the influence of inherited versus behavioral risk factors. A bivariate ordered probit regression model was used to simultaneously predict perceived risk for 10-year absolute risk of diabetes and lifetime absolute risk of diabetes. Ten-year and lifetime absolute risk were both increased when the respondent self-identified with a race/ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white ( = 0.42, p < .001 and = 0.33, p = .004, respectively), and when the respondent had an increasing number of family members with diabetes ( = 0.33, p < .001 and = 0.45, p < .001, respectively). Beliefs linking behavioral risk factors to perceived risk of developing diabetes across the life course were not statistically significant. The absence of significant association between perceptions of behavioral risk as factors for developing diabetes and perceived risk for diabetes over the life course supports the need for educational interventions about behavioral and genetic causes of diabetes among the college-aged population.

published proceedings

  • J Health Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Dickerson, J. B., Smith, M. L., Sosa, E., McKyer, E. L., & Ory, M. G.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Dickerson, Justin B||Smith, Matthew Lee||Sosa, Erica||McKyer, E Lisako||Ory, Marcia G

publication date

  • March 2012