Psychosocial correlates of compliance to a diabetes regimen in adolescents

Robert Allen Semel, Pace University


The purpose of this study was to identify psychosocial correlates of compliance to a diabetes regimen in adolescents and to determine the contribution of psychosocial variables to variance in compliance. Subjects were 31 adolescents (ages 12-19 years) with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) and their parents. Adolescent and parent report were used to measure the dependent variable, compliance with the diabetic regimen. Psychosocial variables included adolescent age, family cohesion and adaptability, parental care and overprotection, social support from family and from peers, adolescent knowledge about diabetes, and metabolic control. A statistically significant relationship was found between compliance and family cohesion, parental care, and adolescent age (p $<$.01, p $<$.05, and p $<$.001, respectively). Family support, behavior symptomatology and metabolic control were marginally significant as correlates of compliance. Family and parental sets of variables each contributed a significant increment to variance of compliance, as determined by a hierarchical multiple regression (MRC) analysis (p $<$.05, and p $<$.001, respectively). An exploratory set of variables comprised of adolescent age, knowledge of diabetes, and social support from friends, additionally accounted for a significant proportion of variance in compliance (p $<$.05). Results of the present study support several research hypotheses concerning the contribution of key psychosocial variables to health compliance behavior in adolescents with IDDM. This study adds to other research efforts (e.g., Hanson, Henggeler, & Burghen, 1987) to elucidate an empirically supported, multidimensional model of the associations between key psychosocial variables and compliance. Methodological limitations are noted, directions for future research are discussed, and implications for compliance intervention strategies are described.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Physiological psychology

Recommended Citation

Semel, Robert Allen, "Psychosocial correlates of compliance to a diabetes regimen in adolescents" (1989). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9011664.



Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)