Diabetic Adolescents and Their Families: Stress, Coping, and Adaptation

Diabetic Adolescents and Their Families: Stress, Coping, and Adaptation

Diabetic Adolescents and Their Families: Stress, Coping, and Adaptation

Diabetic Adolescents and Their Families: Stress, Coping, and Adaptation

Synopsis

This empirically based book focuses on typical stressors, individual and family coping strategies, and psychosocial consequences associated with diabetes. Numerous case studies illustrate the difficulty of balancing normative development and adherence to the therapeutic regimen. The combination of theory, research, and practice guarantee the appeal of this book to an international audience of advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students and professionals in developmental and clinical psychology, pediatric medicine and other healthcare professionals concerned with the care of chronically ill adolescents.

Excerpt

Several years ago, I was astonished and delighted to discover a European colleague directing a research project which had striking parallels with our longitudinal study of adolescents with a chronic illness. Since the mid-1970s, our research group had been tracking intersections between insulindependent diabetes mellitus and adolescent development (Hauser et al., 1997). Begun within the context of a Diabetes Research and Training Center at the Joslin Diabetes Center, we were examining how adolescents and their families coped with the onset and continued presence of this most common adolescent metabolic illness.

Besides the similar questions being asked by both groups, there were the shared assumptions. We assumed it was improbable that all teenagers with diabetes coped in the same ways. Nor did we expect to find that adolescents with diabetes took the same pathway through the complex teenage years. Dr. Seiffge-Krenke's project and ours also recognized that the lives of these adolescents could not be properly studied unless adolescents' contexts — family, school, medical setting — were also included. When we first started, most studies in this area had been based on special samples, those children and adolescents who were having serious difficulties adjusting to their illness. Consequently, prominent findings in these earlier studies pointed to psychiatric symptoms and disorders. To consider the possibility of multiple developmental pathways, reflecting varied coping processes, we designed our longitudinal studies to include all boys and girls with adolescent-onset diabetes, assessing competence and dysfunction of the adolescents and their families.

The importance of understanding how individual adolescents and their families are first touched and then “shaped” by the onset of an unexpected . . .

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