This cross-sectional study examined the joint effects of self-efficacy and illness representations on dietary self-care and diabetes distress in adolescents with type 1 diabetes by comparing two theoretical models: the Self-regulation Model (Leventhal, H., Meyer, D., & Nerenz, D.
(1980). The common-sense representations of illness danger. In S. Rachman (Ed.), Medical Psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 7-30). New York: Pergamon.) and Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, A. (1997). Self efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman.). One hundred and fifty-one adolescents
with type 1 diabetes completed self-report measures of dietary self-efficacy, illness representations, dietary self-care and diabetes distress. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling. The model best supported by the data (Leventhal's Self-regulation Model) showed that dietary
self-efficacy, perceived consequences and treatment effectiveness had direct and independent effects on both dietary self-care and diabetes distress. Together with dietary self-efficacy, perceived short-term treatment effectiveness was a significant predictor of dietary self-care. Age was
found to be a negative predictor of short-term treatment effectiveness beliefs. Diabetes distress was best predicted by self-efficacy and perceived consequences. It can be concluded that to target effectively dietary self-care and distress, clinicians should focus on key illness representation
variables (perceived short-term treatment effectiveness and perceived consequences) in conjunction with self-efficacy.
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type 1 diabetes
Document Type: Research Article
School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Department of Primary Care and General Practice, The Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
School of Health and Social Sciences, Coventry University and Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Publication date: November 1, 2009