Emerging Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

A Comparison to Peers Without Diabetes

Published in: Journal of Pediatric Psychology, v. 38, no. 5, June 2013, p. 506-517

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by Dianna K. Palladino, Vicki S. Helgeson, Kerry Reynolds, Dorothy J. Becker, Linda M. Siminerio, Oscar Escobar

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OBJECTIVE: This longitudinal study compared emerging adults with and without type 1 diabetes on life path decisions, health behaviors, and psychological well-being during the transition out of high school. METHODS: Administered questionnaires during the senior year of high school and 1 year later to 117 emerging adults with diabetes and 122 emerging adults without diabetes. Comparisons were conducted with respect to health status, sex, and school status. RESULTS: Those with and without diabetes chose similar life paths and engaged in similar levels of risky behaviors, but disturbed sleep increased for males with diabetes only. Having diabetes was not associated with depressive symptoms, loneliness, or bulimic symptoms, but was associated with lower life satisfaction and lower life purpose over time. CONCLUSIONS: Emerging adults with and without diabetes fare similarly on most dimensions studied during the first year out of high school.

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