CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Journal of Social Health and Diabetes 2020; 8(01): 018-024
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1722421
Original Article

The Multigenerational Legacy of Diabetes, Emotional Reactions, and Insulin Adherence

Melissa Scollan-Koliopoulos
1  Division of Primary Care Mental Health, Transformative Health and Behavior Solutions, Ringwood, New Jersey, United States
› Author Affiliations
FundingThis project was funded by the Foundation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.


Purpose The purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of having a multigenerational legacy of diabetes on insulin adherence by measuring memories of family members’ experiences with insulin self-injection.

Methods A cross-sectional correlational design was implemented by surveying hospitalized adults with type 2 diabetes who recently transitioned to using insulin. Surveys included items about the vividness, frequency, and controllability of memories of a family member self-injecting insulin and concordant emotional reaction, and one’s own emotional reaction to a diagnosis of diabetes and insulin regimen adherence.

Results A diverse sample responded to the surveys. Significant associations were revealed between having a recollection of a family member fearing insulin injections and a negative emotional reaction toward one’s own diabetes diagnosis with suboptimal insulin adherence. Suboptimal insulin adherence may be an indication of avoidance-based coping. Inquiry into how a multigenerational legacy of diabetes influences individual coping styles for diabetes self-management will help clinicians identify patients at risk for suboptimal insulin adherence.

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 December 2020 (online)

© 2020. 2020 Nordisk Education Foundation. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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