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Evid Based Nurs 3:91 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.3.91
  • Qualitative

Adolescent girls and boys differed in how they incorporated diabetes into their identities and how they managed the illness


 
 QUESTION: In what ways do gender and adolescence interact to affect how young people live with and manage diabetes?

Design

Grounded theory.

Setting

London, UK.

Participants

10 girls and 10 boys who were 15–18 years of age and had had diabetes for >1 year were identified by diabetes specialist nurses (n=15), by a general practitioner (n=1), from a magazine advertisement (n=1), and through snowball sampling (n=3). Most were white and all social classes were represented. The mothers of these 20 adolescents also participated.

Methods

Adolescents and their mothers were interviewed separately in their homes. The semistructured conversations were guided by prompts relating to treatment, stigma, and gender issues of living with diabetes. Interviews were taped, transcribed, and coded using a system of open coding to develop conceptual categories.

Main findings

Girls and boys differed in the meanings that diabetes held for them and the degree to which they incorporated diabetes into their identities. Whereas all of the girls perceived diabetes as very important and had incorporated it into …

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