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adolescence, communication, depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, self-management, theory development, type 1 diabetes mellitus



  1. Verchota, Gwen
  2. Sawin, Kathleen J.


Background: The role of self-management in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus is not well understood.


Purpose: The purpose of the research was to examine the relationship of key individual and family self-management theory, context, and process variables on proximal (self-management behaviors) and distal (hemoglobin A1c and diabetes-specific health-related quality of life) outcomes in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.


Methods: A correlational, cross-sectional study was conducted to identify factors contributing to outcomes in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes and examine potential relationships between context, process, and outcome variables delineated in individual and family self-management theory. Participants were 103 adolescent-parent dyads (adolescents ages 12-17) with Type 1 diabetes from a Midwest, outpatient, diabetes clinic. The dyads completed a self-report survey including instruments intended to measure context, process, and outcome variables from individual and family self-management theory.


Results: Using hierarchical multiple regression, context (depressive symptoms) and process (communication) variables explained 37% of the variance in self-management behaviors. Regimen complexity-the only significant predictor-explained 11% of the variance in hemoglobin A1c. Neither process variables nor self-management behaviors were significant. For the diabetes-specific health-related quality of life outcome, context (regimen complexity and depressive symptoms) explained 26% of the variance at step 1; an additional 9% of the variance was explained when process (self-efficacy and communication) variables were added at step 2; and 52% of the variance was explained when self-management behaviors were added at Step 3. In the final model, three variables were significant predictors: depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, and self-management behaviors.


Conclusions: The individual and family self-management theory can serve as a cogent theory for understanding key concepts, processes, and outcomes essential to self-management in adolescents and families dealing with Type 1 diabetes mellitus.