Social Ecological Model of Illness Management in High-Risk Youths With Type 1 Diabetes

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Abstract

In this study, the authors tested a social ecological model of illness management in high-risk, urban adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. It was hypothesized that management behaviors would be associated with individual adolescent characteristics as well as family, peer, and provider relationships. Questionnaires were collected from 96 adolescents in poor metabolic control and their primary caregivers. Variables in each system were correlated with illness management. Multiple regression demonstrated that higher externalizing symptoms, poorer family relationships, lower satisfaction with providers, and greater age contributed to the variance in illness management. Internalizing symptoms and peer relationships were no longer significant in the model. Results support a social ecological model of illness management in high-risk youths. Interventions grounded in social ecological theory are discussed.

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