Women's Developmental Experiences of Living with Type 1 Diabetes
We used a developmental framework to structure and analyze 24 women's personal accounts of the impact of type1 diabetes on their lives. The developmental framework draws on RIEGEL's (1979) dialectical model of how disruption leads to developmental change as the person works to regain a lost equilibrium. Our questions focused on participants' qualitative accounts of specific areas of impact, their responses to that impact, and their interpretations of the developmental outcomes of their experiences. Most women saw their diabetes as intrusive and disruptive, bringing a sense of the diabetes' pervasiveness and their sense of loss. They reported either adaptive or perseverating responses to the disruption, and either change or stability in their lives. Our questions invited personalized accounts. The women's accounts revealed this struggle for equilibrium in a variety of ways. We present their qualitative accounts and our developmental framework as a way of understanding the impact of chronic illness in life experiences.
adult development; chronic illness; disruption; qualitative analysis; equilibrium