Since it was established that there is no such thing as a 'diabetic personality', researchers have to a large extent abandoned the examination of causal relations between personality and diabetes self-care, metabolic control and adjustment. Although a few studies have examined personality or temperament as predictors of diabetes outcomes, they have provided equivocal results25-28'78'85'97'102. The confusing nature of these results may well be a result of the fact that personality is still undergoing development throughout adolescence29'30. In addition, it is only within the last decade that personality researchers have begun to form a consensus about the core personality traits, namely the 'big five', extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness to experience/intellect and conscientiousness31 ~33. Furthermore, broad personality types in adolescents, based on the related dimensions of ego resiliency, ego control and the 'big five' personality constructs, are stable across populations and related to a range of adjustment measures in adolescents34.

This also highlights the relatively consistent results of research that has looked at the ego development of children and adolescents with diabetes. Several studies have found that more mature ego development (impulse control, moral development, quality of interpersonal relations) is associated with better control of diabetes, both cross-sectionally35'36, and in a 4 year prospective longitudinal study37. Furthermore, mature ego development has also been associated with better metabolic control and higher self-esteem38. With recent research indicating that ego strength (dependability, trust, lack of impulsivity) is associated with longevity and protective health behaviours39 this is clearly an area worth further investigating.

Potentially, interventions may be able to enhance ego development, particularly impulse control, and provide long-term benefits for young people with diabetes that may also generalize to other aspects of their lives. Knowledge of an adolescent's personality may enable educators to fit their programmes, both in terms of style and content, more closely to the individual's needs. For instance, more extraverted young people may gain more from group sessions, whereas more introverted adolescents may have a greater need for social skills training.

Delicious Diabetic Recipes

Delicious Diabetic Recipes

This brilliant guide will teach you how to cook all those delicious recipes for people who have diabetes.

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