The purpose of this research study is to investigate the lived experience of adolescents diagnosed with diabetes and to determine gender differences in this experience. Researchers have provided inconclusive findings related to the relationship between diabetes and quality of life in adolescents. For example, Faulkner (2003) found that adolescents with diabetes reported lower life satisfaction and health perceptions compared to controls and females had lower life satisfaction than males. However, these diabetic adolescents also reported good physical health and they did not differ from healthy controls on factors of physical appearance, social acceptance, romantic appeal, close friendship, behavioral conduct, job competence, scholastic and athletic competence, or global self-worth.
Grey, Boland, Yu, Sullivan-Bolyai, and Tamborlaneá(1998) reported that metabolic control and family warmth and cohesion were not associated with quality of life in diabetic adolescents. Alternatively, Hoey,áAanstoot, Chiarelli, and Danemaná(2001) found that good metabolic control was associated with better quality of life in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.á Faulkner stated that further research is needed to more fully understand factors related to quality of life in diabetic adolescents.
The research questions are as follows:
1. What is it like for a teenager to live with diabetes?
2. What is it like to be a female/male teenager living with diabetes?
For the purpose of this study diabetes is operationally defined as type 1 diabetes for at least a one-year period.
For the purpose of this study lived experience is operationally defined as the lived experience of teenage diabetics as described during one-on-one interviews.
Delimitations for this study include the use of the phenomenological method with one-on-one interviews for assessment of the lived experience of the diabetic adolescent, which may not reflect ...