Women's Developmental Experiences of Living with Type 1 Diabetes

  • Georgina Kelly Waratah Support Centre
  • Jeanette A. Lawrence University of Melbourne
  • Agnes E. Dodds University of Melbourne
Keywords: adult development, chronic illness, disruption, qualitative analysis, equilibrium

Abstract

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. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0501228

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Author Biographies

Georgina Kelly, Waratah Support Centre
Georgina KELLY currently is a counselor with a domestic violence center in Western Australia. The study was part of her honors dissertation for a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Psychology at the University of Melbourne.
Jeanette A. Lawrence, University of Melbourne
Jeanette LAWRENCE is an associate professor in developmental psychology. Her current research is in development in adolescence and adulthood, with particular focus on intergenerational interactions and contributions, and culture and justice in family and legal settings. All correspondence should be addressed to Jeanette Lawrence (lawrence@unimelb.edu.au).
Agnes E. Dodds, University of Melbourne
Agnes DODDS is a senior lecturer in medical education at the University of Melbourne. Her current research interests are in adolescence and early adulthood, especially in relation to personal goals and priorities, and learning in the medical curriculum.
Published
2005-01-31