Psychosocial and Health Behavior Outcomes of Young Adults with Asthma or Diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Previous research has shown a relationship between childhood/adolescent chronic conditions and negative health behaviors, psychological outcomes, and social outcomes. Less is known about whether these negative outcomes are experienced by young adults with chronic health conditions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how young adults’ BMI, health behaviors, and psychological and social outcomes differ depending on whether they have diabetes, asthma, or neither of these chronic conditions. Methods Data were drawn from the third wave of Project EAT-III: Eating and Activity in Young Adults, a population-based study of 2287 young adults (mean age = 25.3; range 19.8 – 31.2). General linear models were used to test differences in BMI, health behaviors (e.g., fast food intake) and psychosocial outcomes (e.g. depressive symptoms) by young adults’ chronic disease status. Results Young adults with diabetes had higher BMIs, engaged in less physical activity and more unhealthy weight control behaviors and binge eating, had lower self-esteem and lower body satisfaction, and experienced more depressive symptoms and appearance-based teasing compared to young adults with asthma or no chronic conditions, after adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status (SES) and, when relevant, for BMI. There were no significant differences between young adults with asthma and young adults with no chronic condition on all of the psychosocial and health behavior outcomes. Conclusions Young adults with diabetes reported higher prevalence of negative health behaviors and psychosocial outcomes. Providers may find it useful to assess for negative health behaviors and psychosocial variables with young adults with diabetes in order to improve treatment and quality of life for these individuals.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of community medicine & health education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosocial and Health Behavior Outcomes of Young Adults with Asthma or Diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this