Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Jennifer Robinette


Approximately 32 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes and that number is growing rapidly. Type 2 Diabetes is sensitive to environmental factors, and higher prevalence rates are often observed in disordered neighborhoods (i.e., those with more trash and vandalism). Through discriminatory practices such as redlining, racially restrictive covenants, urban renewal, and gentrification, marginalized racial/ethnic groups are more likely to live in disordered neighborhoods compared to non-Hispanic Whites. These disparities may also contribute to similar disparities in Type 2 Diabetes rates. Yet, research indicates that there may be racial/ethnic differences in the interpretation of neighborhood disorder as a threat to health and well-being. In the current study, Health and Retirement Study data were used to examine whether the relationship between perceived neighborhood disorder and Type 2 Diabetes risk differs across racial/ethnic groups. Participants reported their perceptions of disorder in their neighborhoods and whether or not they had been told by a physician that they had Type 2 Diabetes. A weighted logistic regression model was used to predict Type 2 Diabetes risk by perceived neighborhood disorder, race/ethnicity, and their interaction. Individual factors that may influence the development of Type 2 diabetes, such as education status, household wealth, sex, and age, were included as covariates. Results from the model indicated that non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Others had higher Type 2 Diabetes risk compared to non-Hispanic Whites. In addition, more disorder was related to heightened Type 2 Diabetes risk. However, the null interaction suggested that the relationship between Type 2 Diabetes risk and perceived neighborhood disorder was consistent across the different racial/ethnic groups. These findings demonstrate that intervention programs designed to reduce disorder in neighborhoods may slow the increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes for diverse populations.


Presented at the virtual Spring 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.