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Nord J Psychiatry. 2003;57(4):309-12.

Self-image of adolescents with diabetes mellitus type-I and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, University of Turku, Finland.


The purpose of this research was to determine possible differences in the self-concept of chronically ill and healthy adolescents. A group of adolescents with diabetes mellitus type-I (DM) and a group with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were chosen for the study, together with a control group without any chronic illness. The groups were matched for gender, age (DM 17.8, RA 17.9, control group 17.6 years) and social class. The Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ) was used to estimate differences between the groups of 23 DM adolescents, 25 RA adolescents and 26 control group adolescents. The scores are reversed; thus the higher the score, the better the self-image. The results indicate that Body Image, and Vocational and Educational Goals were lower in the groups of chronically ill adolescents than in the control group; however, no statistically significant differences were found between the groups on the OSIQ scales. The self-image of adolescents with DM with good metabolic control and moderate and long-lasting RA is relatively well developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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