Introduction: African-American mothers with a history of gestational diabetes are at a significant risk for the development of subsequent type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this investigation was to study African-American mothers’ knowledge of type 2 diabetes risk as well as their intentions to participate in preventive behaviors after a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes. Methodology: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 African-American mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes at two high-risk prenatal clinics in Detroit, MI. These face-to-face, cross-sectional interviews gathered data concerning mothers’ knowledge of the causes of gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes risk factors, and type 2 diabetes preventive behaviors. In addition, mothers’ sources of this knowledge, perceived barriers and enablers to preventive behaviors, and intentions to participate in diabetes prevention were investigated. Content analysis was used to analyze transcripts for coding categories and themes guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior as a conceptual framework. Results: Study results revealed that the majority of mothers were aware of their risk for subsequent type 2 diabetes as well as preventive behaviors. While family was reported to be the primary source of information for both gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes, health care professionals were described as the primary source of information for the subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes. Education about diabetes prevention was evenly distributed between the family, health care providers, and the media. Participants’ intentions to participate in preventive behaviors were high despite identified barriers. Family was consistently identified as the most important source of knowledge, motivation, and support regarding diabetes prevention. Implications: In order for health care professionals to improve education designed to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in African–American mothers with a history of gestational diabetes, careful consideration should be given to the influence of family. Educational interventions must be sensitive to the important role family plays in the lives of women concerning preventive health behaviors
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