Date of Thesis

Spring 2020


For adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes the clinical importance of both adherence to disease management and social support from family and friends is apparent. However, the role that family support or peer support plays on adherence to diabetes management or how stigma impacts adherence is still unclear. This study aims to determine differences between the type of support provided by family compared to peers, to examine how possible differences in the type of support impact adherence, to examine how social anxiety and stigma may be related to adherence, and to examine the types of barriers adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes experience and how these barriers may impact adherence. Participants included 104 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 years old (61 females; mean HbA1c= 7.66%) with Type 1 Diabetes that completed a survey with nine different measures including measures of adherence, social stigma, anxiety, and family and social support. Results indicated that management support from family members was significantly higher than management support from friends in the insulin (p < .01), blood testing (p < .01), and meal plan (p < .01) subscales. Further, emotional support from family members was actually higher than emotional support from friends in the subscale exercise (p < .01). Friend companionship (p < .05) and friend management support (p < .05) is also predictive of adherence in adolescents. Stigma, stress and burnout, time pressure and planning, and social support were correlated with adherence (all p < .01). However, social anxiety did not mediate the relationship between stigma and adherence (p= .97). Future research should assess these variables among a larger sample of adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes and further examine the effect of social desirability, social anxiety, and stigma on adherence in children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes.


Type 1 Diabetes, adherence, stigma, social anxiety, adolescents, chronic illness

Access Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science



First Advisor

Anna Baker