Teacher support of adherence for adolescents with type 1 diabetes: preferred teacher support behaviors and youths' perceptions of support.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the preferences of adolescents with type 1 diabetes regarding the role of teacher support and perceptions associated with the most supportive and least supportive teachers, as well as to examine the effects of child age and gender on these relationships. Method This cross-sectional questionnaire-based study included 102 adolescents with type 1 diabetes recruited through the outpatient treatment clinic at a Midwestern children's hospital. Adolescents completed demographic questionnaires and questionnaires assessing the role of teacher support. Outcome measures included the newly developed Ideal Teacher Questionnaire, which measured adolescents' preferences for teacher support, and the Diabetes Teacher Support Questionnaire, which evaluated adolescents' perceived frequency of teacher support behaviors and feelings about this support. RESULTS: Youth rated their most supportive teacher as engaging more frequently in support behaviors than their least supportive teacher. Students who expressed a preference for an actively involved teacher had more positive feelings about the support they received from teachers and perceived a higher level of support from their most supportive teacher. Girls perceived a greater frequency of support behaviors than boys and felt more positive about these behaviors. Younger adolescents reported a higher frequency of teacher support behaviors and felt that these behaviors were more supportive. CONCLUSIONS: There are consistent interpersonal differences in adolescents' desires for teacher support of diabetes self-care. It may be important to consider adolescents' preferences for diabetes-related teacher support.

Publication Title

The Diabetes educator