Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Clarissa Holmes


Individual growth curve (IGC) modeling evaluated longitudinal trajectories of glycemic control and diabetes care of youth with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) over three years. IGC modeling allowed comparison of confounded sociodemographic predictors of disease outcomes that included ethnicity, SES, parent marital status, family structure, as well as disease duration, to determine the relative impact of these factors in the evolution of HbA1c and diabetes care throughout adolescence. At baseline, participants recruited from two pediatric endocrinology clinics included 198 youth, ages 9-15 (M age = 12.65, 77% Caucasian, 74% lived with married biological parents, M SES = 45.70) with average HbA1c of 8.43% and reported diabetes care behaviors consistent with ADA recommendations. Glycemic control did not deteriorate significantly, but IGC modeling detected a trend of a steady decline in HbA1c of .01% each year. Youth with married biological parents had HbA1c levels approximately 1.23% lower than youth with alternative parent marital status throughout adolescence, t = 4.03, p < .001, although an age by marital status interaction, t = -2.34, p < .05, indicated the impact of parent marital status on HbA1c decreased at age 17. Analyses revealed significant annual declines in blood glucose monitoring frequency, t = -7.61, p < .001, eating frequency, t = -9.04, p < .001, and exercise frequency, t = -7.87, p < .001. Alternatively, the consumption of carbohydrates and fats remained relatively stable throughout adolescence. Consideration of sociodemographic predictors and disease duration further clarified trajectories of disease care behaviors. Throughout adolescence, African American youth reported lower blood glucose monitoring frequency than Caucasian youth. Youth with lower SES exercised less frequently and demonstrated poorer dietary consumption than youth with higher SES. Youth from families with alternative parent marital status ate and exercised less frequently compared to youth from married biological families. However, youth from single-parent homes exercised more frequently than those from two-parent homes. Longer disease duration related to declines in blood glucose monitoring frequency, yet better dietary consumption. Results may inform development of interventions for youth at risk of poor glycemic control and diabetes management across ethnicity, SES, and parent marital status groups.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013

Available for download on Monday, August 14, 2023

Included in

Psychology Commons