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Prediabetes family study

1 August 2011 - 30 September 2012

PI/s in Exeter: Dr Hannah Farrimond

Funding awarded: £ 4,395

Sponsor(s): Richard Benjamin Trust

About the research


Current clinical recommendations propose using family history to identify and intervene to prevent Type 2 diabetes. However, little research has studied how lay people understand or respond to familial diabetes risk. This project takes a social psychological approach using social representations theory which emphasises the group and identity dimensions of thought and behaviour. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with ‘at risk’ individuals and their first-degree relatives. Thematic analysis will identify within-group (intra-family) and between-group (inter-family) differences in representations. The study will produce a theoretically grounded psychological ‘underpinning’ for the design of interventions with ‘at risk’ families in the future.

Research Objectives

  • To investigate the social representations of diabetes, inheritance and genetics amongst family members with familial diabetes risk
  • To explore the utility of social representations theory in explaining identity positioning within and between self-defining sub-groups (e.g. families)
  • To feedback findings into clinical recommendations for family history interventions with ‘at risk’ families