School

School of Humanities and Sciences

Department

Psychology

ICC Theme

Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

Date

2-4-2019 10:00 AM

Abstract

Diabetes affects both the physical and emotional well-being of over 29 million Americans. Thus, it is important to investigate the psychological factors that can influence appropriate diabetes self-care. The present study investigates whether counterfactual thoughts might be related to how an individual copes with diabetes. The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach consisting of a quantitative survey assessing psychosocial factors, and a qualitative interview with the participant. The interview includes questions about the participant’s thoughts and feelings with their experience of diabetes, noting when participants spontaneously generate counterfactual thoughts about how things might be different if they hadn’t been diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, 31 people have completed the protocol (11 males and 20 females). These preliminary results suggest that an increase in counterfactual thinking is marginally associated with higher levels of guilt (r(29) = .326, p = .085). Further, these higher levels of guilt are strongly associated with the maladaptive coping mechanisms of self-blame (r(29) = .671, p < .001) and behavioral disengagement (r(29) = .541, p = .002). Notably, high levels of self-blame and behavioral disengagement were marginally associated with lower levels of diabetes self-efficacy (r(29) = -.303, p = .104, and r(29) = -.331, p =.074, respectively). Appropriate diabetes self-care is essential to the prevention of serious complications like blindness and amputation. This preliminary evidence suggests that certain types of counterfactual thoughts may undermine appropriate diabetes self-care. Further research on counterfactual thinking may assist in the design of educational initiatives to encourage successful diabetes self-care.

Document Type

Poster

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Apr 2nd, 10:00 AM

An Investigation of Counterfactual Thinking in Individuals Diagnoses with Diabetes

Diabetes affects both the physical and emotional well-being of over 29 million Americans. Thus, it is important to investigate the psychological factors that can influence appropriate diabetes self-care. The present study investigates whether counterfactual thoughts might be related to how an individual copes with diabetes. The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach consisting of a quantitative survey assessing psychosocial factors, and a qualitative interview with the participant. The interview includes questions about the participant’s thoughts and feelings with their experience of diabetes, noting when participants spontaneously generate counterfactual thoughts about how things might be different if they hadn’t been diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, 31 people have completed the protocol (11 males and 20 females). These preliminary results suggest that an increase in counterfactual thinking is marginally associated with higher levels of guilt (r(29) = .326, p = .085). Further, these higher levels of guilt are strongly associated with the maladaptive coping mechanisms of self-blame (r(29) = .671, p < .001) and behavioral disengagement (r(29) = .541, p = .002). Notably, high levels of self-blame and behavioral disengagement were marginally associated with lower levels of diabetes self-efficacy (r(29) = -.303, p = .104, and r(29) = -.331, p =.074, respectively). Appropriate diabetes self-care is essential to the prevention of serious complications like blindness and amputation. This preliminary evidence suggests that certain types of counterfactual thoughts may undermine appropriate diabetes self-care. Further research on counterfactual thinking may assist in the design of educational initiatives to encourage successful diabetes self-care.

 

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