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Self-concept and Juvenile Diabetes in Young Adulthood
Lisa Steenburgh (author)Joan Kimball (thesis supervisor)Marvin McDonald (thesis supervisor)Derrick Klaassen (second reader)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This study explored self-concept and living with juvenile diabetes in young adulthood. Eight young adults ages 19-29 who self-identified as having juvenile diabetes participated in one to two-hour semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analyzed using the descriptive phenomenological approach, as outlined by Giorgi and Giorgi (2003a). Being shaped but not defined by juvenile diabetes emerged as the essence of the young adults' experiences. Self-concept was shaped by diabetes in three main ways: (1) becoming more responsible, mature and resilient, (2) planning ahead and thinking critically, and (3) gaining empathy. Underlying several themes was the choice participants made to stay positive and maintain hope. They separated symptoms from self, and as much as possible did not let diabetes limit them. Paradoxically, limitations helped them develop skills that put them ahead in other areas of their lives. Findings are particularly relevant for mental health professionals working with young adults living with chronic illness.
Diabetes in youth--Psychological aspects.Diabetes in adolescence—Psychological aspects.Diabetes Mellitus—psychology.Identity (Psychology)