The compliance of 346 young diabetics aged 13–17 years with health regimens is analysed in the framework of a MIMIC (multiple indicators, multiple causes) model The data were compiled by means of a questionnaire on compliance, conditions for compliance, the meaning attached to treatment and the impact of the disease, and the model constructed using the LJSREL VII programme, treating compliance as an unobserved variable formulated in terms of observed causes (x-variables) and observed indicators (y-variables) The resulting solutions are entirely satisfactory The goodness-of-fit index is 0 983, the root mean square residual 0 058 and the chi-squared statistic 43 35 (P<0 001) The values for the individual parameters in the model are also shown to be reliable and valid The model shows compliance to be indicated by self-care behaviour, responsibility for treatment, intention to pursue the treatment and collaboration with the physician, and to be greatly determined by motivation, experience of the results of treatment and having the energy and will-power to pursue the treatment and, to a lesser extent, by a sense of normality and fear