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Int J Behav Med. 1997;4(2):131-44.

Directive and nondirective social support in diabetes management.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Directive and Nondirective Support were distinguished (interrater agreement = 88.2%) through open-ended interviews completed by 60 adults with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Supporting validity, the sum of both Directive and Nondirective Support was correlated with scores on the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL; r = .36). Supporting their distinction, Directive and Nondirective Support were inversely correlated (r = -.26), and Directive but not Nondirective Support decreased with age. Partial/correlations controlled for general support as measured by the ISEL, to examine the unique associations of Directive and Nondirective Support. For those less than 30 years old, Nondirective Support was associated with better metabolic control (p = .004). For those 30 or older, Directive Support appeared counterproductive, being associated with greater negative mood (p = .02). Different types of support may play different roles in different areas of disease management (e.g., metabolic control versus mood) and as a function of individual characteristics such as age.

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