Adjustment in Diabetic Adolescent Girls: II. Adjustment, Self-Esteem, and Depression in Diabetic Adolescent Girls

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The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Sullivan Diabetic Adjustment Scale were administered to 105 adolescent girls with diabetes. Results indicate that levels of self-esteem and depression highly correlate with the level of adjustment as assessed on the Diabetic Adjustment Scale (DAS). That is, the adjustment of adolescent diabetic girls in peer and family relationships, dependence-independence conflicts, and attitudes toward diabetes is significantly related to self-esteem; and the level of depression is significantly related to all these adjustment factors as well as body image. The results point to the usefulness of the DAS as a potential screening device for low self-esteem and depression in adolescent girls who have diabetes. The importance of diabetes as a scapegoat for normal adolescent concerns is discussed. It was also hypothesized that depression in adolescents may be expressed through concerns about diabetes. The importance of exploring relationships with peers and fathers is emphasized.

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