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J Adolesc Health. 2007 Jan;40(1):29-35. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Effect of type 1 diabetes on psychosocial maturation in young adults.

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  • 1Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. <>



Previous research suggests that having diabetes may complicate the passage from adolescence to adulthood. The aim of this study was to establish if young adults with Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) had delays in aspects of their psychosocial maturation compared with healthy controls (HC).


A cross-sectional study compared psychosocial maturation in individuals aged 18-25 years with T1DM to age-matched healthy controls. After obtaining consent, participants completed the following measures: Responsibility and Independence Scale for Adolescents (RISA; psychosocial maturity); Social Maturation Index (SMI, social maturity); Levenson's Locus of Control Scales (LOC, internal versus external locus of control) and the Social Density Grid (SDG, social network).


In total, 160 subjects completed the study (97 T1DM, 63 HC). Participants included 101 females. No group differences were found on the RISA total score or the Responsibility or Independence Subscales of this measure. On the SMI, the proportion of subjects within each category (good, moderate or poor) was similar for each group. The overall number of social contacts identified on the SDG was similar for all groups; however, individuals with diabetes identified fewer friends within their social network that knew each other (F (2,160) = 3.28, p < .05). No significant group differences were found for LOC.


Young adults with Type 1 diabetes did not show delayed psychosocial maturation when compared with healthy young adult controls.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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