Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Although there is a general consensus in the literature of a relationship between stress and blood glucose control in individuals with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), the extent and nature of this relationship is not well understood. The present study addressed several questions and hypotheses regarding proposed relationships between life stress, long term blood glucose control, coping with diabetic problems and cognitive appraisals of diabetes in persons with IDDM. A longitudinal, prospective research design was used in which fifty-seven persons were followed over two consecutive six week periods. A composite measure of life stress was developed and interrelationships among appraisals of diabetes were examined with factor analyses. Relationships between variables were examined using correlational and multiple regression methods of analyses.;The results indicated no evidence of a concurrent relationship between life stress and long term blood glucose control as measured by glycosylated hemoglobin levels. Results indicated that appraisals of diabetes were related to glycosylated hemoglobin and to life stress and that these relationships were different for different appraisals. In dealing with diabetic problems, people tended to use fewer strategies of avoidance coping when compared to their use of confrontation and resignation coping. No evidence of a direct relationship between the three coping strategies and glycosylated hemoglobin was found, however, an interaction between confrontation and resignation coping in the prediction of glycosylated hemoglobin levels was indicated.;The relationship between life stress and long term blood glucose control may be more complex than previously thought. The present study has demonstrated that cognitive appraisals of diabetes are an important factor to consider in people with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and may serve to help further clarify relationships between life stress and long term blood glucose control. Further research is warranted to better understand the role appraisals play in diabetes and stress.



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