Objective: We applied a social network approach to examine if three types of diabetes-related stigma (self-stigma, perceived stigma and enacted stigma) moderated associations between social network characteristics (network size, kin composition, household composition, and network density), social support, and blood glucose among Ghanaians with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: Data were obtained through a cross-sectional survey of 254 adults at a diabetes clinic in Ghana that assessed participants’ social networks, social support, and frequency of experiencing three types of diabetes-related stigma. Results: Self-stigma moderated associations between kin composition and social support when controlling for network size (beta= 1.29, P <.0001). Among study participants reporting low self-stigma, kin composition was positively associated with social support (beta=1.29, P<.0001), but this association was not found among those reporting high self-stigma. Network size was positively associated with social support among participants reporting both low and high self-stigma. None of the types of diabetes-related stigma moderated other associations between social networks, social support, and blood glucose. Conclusions: Individuals with T2DM who report high self-stigma may have lower social support, which can reduce their capacity for disease management. Additionally, larger social networks may be beneficial for individuals with T2DM in countries like Ghana, and interventions that expand network resources may facilitate diabetes control.
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