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Diabetes Educ. 2003 Mar-Apr;29(2):283-91.

Adolescents' behavioral autonomy related to diabetes management and adolescent activities/rules.

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  • 1Indiana University School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Drive, NU 451, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. kathanna@iupui.edu



The purpose of this preliminary study was to describe and explore the behavioral autonomy (both independent functioning and decision making) of adolescents with type 1 diabetes.


A sample of 34 adolescents with type 1 diabetes completed checklists on independent functioning and decision making for daily and nondaily diabetes management as well as typical adolescent activities/rules.


Independent functioning in daily diabetes management was greater for older adolescents. Independent functioning and decision making for daily diabetes management, nondaily diabetes management, and typical adolescent activities/rules were strongly correlated. Independent decision making, but not independent functioning for daily diabetes management, was significantly correlated to metabolic control.


The strong relationship between independent decision making and functioning suggests that both aspects are important parts of behavioral autonomy to be assessed by healthcare professionals working with adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Healthcare professionals should encourage parental involvement that facilitates adolescents' independent decision making, which was related to better metabolic control in this study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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