I get by with a little help from my family and friends: Adolescents' support for diabetes care

Annette M. La Greca, Wendy F. Auslander, Peggy Greco, Dante Spetter, Edwin B. Fisher, Julio V. Santiago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

305 Scopus citations


Evaluated and compared the support provided by family members and friends for adolescents' diabetes care. Family and friend support also were examined in relation to other measures of social support, to demographic variables (age, gender, duration of diabetes) and to adherence. Using a structured interview, 74 adolescents with diabetes described the ways that family members and friends provided support for diabetes management (insulin shots, blood glucose monitoring, eating proper meals, exercise), and for helping them to 'feel good about their diabetes.' Families provided more support than friends for three management tasks (insulin injections, blood glucose monitoring, meals); this support was largely instrumental. In contrast, friends provided more emotional support for diabetes than families. Greater family support was related to younger age, shorter disease duration, and better treatment adherence. Implications of the findings include encouraging parents to remain involved in adolescents' treatment management, and involving peers as supportive companions for meals and exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-476
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • adherence
  • adolescents
  • diabetes care
  • family support
  • friends
  • peer support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biotechnology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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