Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 83 Issue 3 (September 2010), Pages 223-331

Characteristics of self‐regulation in adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes with and without eating disorders: A cross‐sectional study (pages 289-301)

Objectives. Pathology of the regulative mechanisms of self seems to be connected with eating disorders (EDs). The present study aimed to explore the hypothesis that there are differences in self‐regulation in adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes with and without EDs.

Design. A cross‐sectional design was employed comparing patterns of self‐regulation in adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes with and without EDs in two eating status groups.

Methods. For the presence of EDs, 76 adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes were assessed. Of these, 23 were diagnosed with an ED. In addition, dimensions of self‐regulation as conceptualized in terms of Kohuts' psychodynamic theory of self were assessed.

Results. Adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes and an ED were higher in three aspects of self‐regulation – negative body self, object depreciation, and narcissistic gain from illness – in comparison with their peers without EDs.

Conclusions. This study is the first to show evidence of deficits in self‐regulation in adolescent girls with Type 1 diabetes and EDs. The importance of evaluating parameters of self‐regulation for treatment planning for these youths is outlined.

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