BACKGROUND - Adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) must cope with the ongoing stress of treatment management, so it is important to identify the most adaptive coping strategies. Previous studies, however, have typically measured broad categories of coping (e.g. approach/avoidance) and few used instruments specifically designed for this population.
OBJECTIVE - This article aimed to use a developmentally sensitive coping measure to explore how the use of specific coping strategies impacts resilience (i.e. quality of life, competence and metabolic control) in adolescents with T1D.
METHODS - Thirty adolescents with T1D between the ages of 10 and 16 and their mothers completed questionnaires on adolescents' coping strategy use, competence and quality of life. Clinical data (i.e. HbA1c) were obtained from adolescents' medical records.
RESULTS - Greater use of primary control coping strategies (e.g. problem solving, emotional expression) was associated with higher competence scores, better quality of life and better metabolic control. Secondary control coping strategies (e.g. acceptance, distraction) were related to higher social competence, better quality of life and better metabolic control. Finally, the use of disengagement coping strategies (e.g. withdrawal or denial) was linked with lower competence and poorer metabolic control.
CONCLUSIONS - The results of this study support the use of developmentally sensitive coping measures by researchers and clinicians to determine the most effective coping strategies for adolescents with T1D.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.