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Type 1 Diabetes in Young Adulthood

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 4 ]


Maureen Monaghan, Vicki Helgeson and Deborah Wiebe   Pages 239 - 250 ( 12 )


Type 1 diabetes has traditionally been studied as a chronic illness of childhood. However, young adulthood is a critical time for the development and integration of lifelong diabetes management skills, and research is starting to identify unique challenges faced by youth with diabetes as they age into adulthood. Most young adults experience multiple transitions during this unstable developmental period, including changes in lifestyle (e.g., education, occupation, living situation), changes in health care, and shifting relationships with family members, friends, and intimate others. Young adults with type 1 diabetes must navigate these transitions while also assuming increasing responsibility for their diabetes care and overall health. Despite these critical health and psychosocial concerns, there is a notable lack of evidence-based clinical services and supports for young adults with type 1 diabetes. We review relevant evolving concerns for young adults with type 1 diabetes, including lifestyle considerations, health care transitions, psychosocial needs, and changes in supportive networks, and how type 1 diabetes impacts and is impacted by these key developmental considerations. Specific avenues for intervention and future research are offered.


Adherence, glycemic control, support systems, transition to adult medical care, type 1 diabetes, young adulthood.


Children`s National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.

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