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Psychosom Med. 1982 Sep;44(4):321-39.

Relationships between behavioral factors and diabetic control in children and adolescents: a camp study.


Relationships between health status and behavioral factors were studied in 211 insulin-dependent diabetic children, ages 5-19 years, at a camp for diabetic children. In general, diabetic control, as measured by counselor-monitored urine tests made across a 2-week period, improved across age. Diabetic control was negatively related to knowledge of diabetes; that is, the worse the diabetic control, the higher the degree of knowledge. Acquisition of a high level of knowledge was viewed as a coping effort in response to the stress of poor diabetic control. Also, boys in poor diabetic control tended to be more internal in locus of control (ready to take action to confront their difficulties), and girls in poor diabetic control tended to be more external (feeling powerless and acting compliant). This sex difference in the relationship between diabetic control and locus of control was interpreted as reflecting sex differences in responses to stress. Findings involving other health status, behavioral, and demographic variables are presented and discussed.

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