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Keywords:

  • Five-factor model of personality;
  • juvenile diabetes;
  • medical adherence;
  • personality traits

TOPIC:  Diabetes is a serious, chronic illness with long-term implications for health and lifestyle. Significant differences in health outcome may be achieved as a result of the degree of adherence to recommended diabetes management regimens. Adherence is a particularly challenging issue with adolescents with diabetes.

PURPOSE:  The present study examined the association between primary personality traits and adolescent adherence to prescribed diabetes management regimens.

SOURCES:  A measure of the five-factor model of personality was administered to a sample of adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Five self-reported indicators of adherence were assessed: blood glucose monitoring, insulin administration, diet, exercise, and most recent glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level.

CONCLUSIONS:  Results revealed a pattern of significant correlations between the Conscientiousness and Neuroticism personality domains and one or more self-reported adherence behaviors. In addition, correlations were also found between one facet of Extraversion and one facet of Agreeableness. These suggestive results, if replicated in larger studies, provide useful information to clinicians as they design and monitor individualized diabetes management regimens for adolescents.