The Role of Mood in Type 2 Diabetes: Socioeconomic Pathway Analyses in a Sample of Latinxs Adults

Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Future of Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2023



The Role of Mood in Type 2 Diabetes: Socioeconomic Pathway Analyses in a Sample of Latinxs Adults

Kevin A. Matlock




Latinxs—persons who identify as Hispanic or Latina/Latino—are the largest minoritized ethnic group in the US. Compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts, Latinxs are at greater risk of developing a variety of physical and mental health conditions, particularly type 2 diabetes and depression. Evidence suggests this risk is driven, in part, by exposure to socioeconomic threats like hazardous living conditions and discrimination. However, the pathways linking these factors are, at present, not well understood.

Therefore, the role of mood in type 2 diabetes was explored across two studies using pathway analysis and data from an at-risk population, namely Latinx US adults. In the first study, depressive symptoms were examined as an antecedent for diabetes progression as indicated by severity of resistance to insulin. Exposure to urban environmental threat—uncomfortable or unsafe aspects of city life—was then tested as a moderator of the relationship between depression and insulin resistance. In the second study, depressive symptoms were examined as a downstream mediator for the relationship between discrimination and its deleterious effect on general emotional well-being.
Reviews on type 2 diabetes reveal a paucity of research on socioeconomic factors. The studies above address this gap in knowledge by being the first to explore the nuanced pathways by which mood, discrimination, and living conditions influence how Latinx adults experience type 2 diabetes. Results recommend a shift in focus for future research, whereby the physical and psychological dimensions of diabetes are understood as occurring within a unique social and environmental context.

keywords: Depression, Discrimination, Latinx, Type 2 Diabetes, Urban Environmental Threat, Well-Being