Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Norman Kiracofe

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Z. Anderson

Third Advisor

Dr. Tracy DeMars


The purpose of this study is to better understand and provide a description of the factors that influence adolescents' adherence to the diabetic treatment regimen from the adolescents' experience. The sample consisted of nine adolescents diagnosed with Type I diabetes. A qualitative phenomenological methodology is used to look for significant statements, meanings, and themes that resulted in an exhaustive description of the adolescents' experience.

In-depth interviews are the primary method of data collection. Data analysis includes: transcribing the interviews and reading the transcripts, extracting significant statements, developing formulated meanings, organizing the formulated meanings into clusters of themes, and developing an exhaustive description of the phenomenon. Arriving at the final description involved writing individual and composite textural and structural descriptions. Through this process, eight overarching structural elements emerge as some of the most salient results of the study and are defined as the eight treatment schemas. Other prominent results include illustrating the highly psychosocial context of diabetes treatment and that each adolescent's experience with diabetes must be viewed individually within his or her unique life context to be most accurately understood.

Implications may have far-reaching effects in helping physicians and adolescents come to a shared perspective regarding the influences affecting diabetes treatment adherence, in helping physicians better understand their adolescent patient's experience of following the diabetic treatment regimen, and in illustrating the importance of counseling psychologists in the treatment of adolescents with diabetes.

The proposed study could fill several needs: (a) provide a voice for adolescents diagnosed with diabetes; (b) fill a void in the literature regarding adolescents' experience with the factors that influence their treatment regimen; (c) illustrate the value and usefulness of counseling psychologists in medical settings; (d) provide valuable information to the medical community, which hopefully will lead to a better understanding of how adolescents experience the factors influencing the diabetes treatment regimen; (e) provide a basis for improved physician/patient relationship; and (f) possibly lead to improved health for adolescents with diabetes.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access