Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is the inability to effectively utilize insulin, known as insulin resistance, which is essential for the body’s absorption of glucose and the subsequent generation of energy. Although it is most prevalent in adulthood, T2D can emerge at any age. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), certain steps can be taken toward the prevention and management of T2D. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diet, physical activity, weight, smoking, blood pressure, blood glucose level, and family history of diabetes are all risk factors. This archival study examined how these possible precursors combined with history of reported exposure to adverse events can lead to the eventual development of diabetes in undergraduate students. Both an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) questionnaire and a survey regarding these diabetes risk factors and de-identified demographic information (i.e. gender, family history of diabetes) were distributed to 78 students enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses. It was hypothesized that there would be a significant association between history of trauma (ACE score) and diet and physical activity, and a significant difference between history of trauma (ACE score) and frequency of smoking and drinking, body mass index (BMI), and family history of diabetes. Findings were grouped and analyzed in order to assess participants’ vulnerability and to predict their likelihood of ultimately developing diabetes. The hypotheses were not supported, though post-hoc analyses found that family history of diabetes may actually promote more frequent physical activity and healthier dietary habits. Implications for the education of young adults about diabetes risk prevention are discussed.


glucose; insulin; intervention; prevention; risk, ;trauma; type 2 diabetes

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Thomas Demaria

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Psychology Commons