Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Clarissa Holmes


The Test of Diabetes Knowledge (TDK) was studied to determine its appropriateness for children. Early onset diabetes was examined for residual effects on poorer adolescent understanding of diabetes and problem solving that could affect self-care behaviors. Participant groups were created as children (<12) and adolescents (≥12). A second division created a group of adolescents with early onset disease (EOD < 12 years) and with late onset disease (LOD >12 years). Participants were predominantly Caucasian and from middle class families. 51% were boys with an average age of 12.95 years, disease duration of 4.35 years and onset age of 8.58 years. Children scored significantly lower and responded “I don’t know” significantly more often for all levels of knowledge when compared to adolescents. EOD and LOD group differences in problem-solving knowledge were not found for adolescents, although duration accounted for a significant amount of variance in the model. Post-hoc regression indicated a significant negative relationship between duration and knowledge. EOD and LOD group differences were not found in self-care behaviors. The TDK does not appear to be developmentally appropriate for children. EOD adolescents do not differ from LOD adolescents on problem solving questions; mean scores indicate the lack of abstract knowledge seen in children may be resolved with the transition into adolescence. Results indicate the longer a child has diabetes the less knowledge they appear to retain.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

November 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons