Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of peer support in adolescents with type 1 diabetes
Author: Doe, Emily Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5988 9174
Awarding Body: University of Northampton
Current Institution: University of Northampton
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Despite a wealth of research which has taken place aiming to improve self-care in adolescents with type 1 diabetes, a paucity of studies could be identified assessing the utility of support proved by peers. This is in spite of evidence which suggests that, for older adolescents, it is peers who provide the greatest support and are therefore likely to offer a weightier resource towards effective self-care (Cattelino et al., 2014; Choukas-Bradley, Giletta, Widman, Cohen, & Prinstein, 2015; Mercken, Steglich, Sinclair, Holliday, & Moore, 2012; Pezzulo et al., 2013; Visser, de Winter, Veenstra, Verhulst, & Reijneveld, 2013). The current thesis therefore represents a significant attempt to understand the role of peer support in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. This doctoral research comprises three studies utilising a mixed methods design. Study 1 employs mixed methodology to understand the lived experience of peer support in a clinical sample. Whilst global peer support was found to be positively related to improved psychosocial and diabetes outcomes, diabetes-specific support was found to be higher in those with poorer glycaemic control. Indeed, when diabetes-specific support behaviours were discussed in semistructured interviews, these behaviours were labelled as unwanted, harrssing and nagging. These findings together indicate the potential for global peer support to offer maintenance of a normal self-concept. Study 2 proposes and assesses an adaptation of the stress-buffering hypothesis (S. Cohen & Wills, 1985) specifically focusing on the psychophysiology of peer support in relation to glycaemic control. Findings suggested that this mechanism was not significant, though limitations with the methodology are acknowledged. Instead, a positive role of stress in relation to improved glycaemic control was found in male, but not female, participants. These results lend support to assertions regarding individualised care plans. Finally, Study 3 assesses the comparability of psychosocial experience between a clinical and reference population of adolescents. Despite differences in peer support, adolescents with and without type 1 diabetes achieve a markedly similar psychosocial profile, minimising the impact of type 1 diabetes on the lives of adolescents. Therefore, the desire for normality outlined in Study 1 seems to be achieved for the most part. Overall, the findings indicate a role for peer support in the attainment and maintenance of a normative self-concept, separate from the sick role. This thesis suggests that peer support offers a different utility to parental support, and is worthy of further investigation. Taken together, these studies underline the importance of considering the person-centred nature of care, with emphasis on the potential benefit of individualised care plans, and particular attention paid to age and gender differences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R726.7 Health psychology ; RC660 Diabetes