Teenagers Transitioning to the Self-Management of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D): Exploring Day-to-Day Experiences and Developing Social Supports

This project aims to explore, elucidate and facilitate teenagers’ transition from parental management to self-management of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Type 1 diabetes is a childhood-onset disease, which results in a lifelong dependence on exogenous insulin. The self-management of insulin-dependent diabetes is extremely complex and difficult, as it involves injecting with insulin, self-management of blood testing, regular physical activity and diet monitoring. Transitioning autonomy from parental to self-management of diabetes within and beyond the family are not well understood. Moreover while existing research, primarily from the medical and psychology domains, has focussed on medical case analysis and outcomes, the complex lived experience, and social and family contexts which impact teenagers’ autonomy transition have been neglected. This qualitative phenomenological study aims to address this gap in the research.

Aims and objectives 

The TEENT1D project sets out to:

  • conduct interdisciplinary research to better understand teenagers’ transition to the self-management of T1D and the complex mix of bio-psycho-social factors which impact on diabetes control among this group;
  • strengthen the knowledge foundation and evidence base for the creation of socially and culturally responsive health and social interventions to facilitate successful autonomy transition among teenagers with T1D;
  • develop networks of cooperation and a partnership between members of the paediatric unit in Cork University Hospital (CUH) and academics in UCC;
  • develop a research area to support further projects and national and international research collaborations.

This interdisciplinary study will use a qualitative and mixed-methods approach, including narrative diaries, in-depth interviews and creative research workshops, with young people with T1D aged 13-17. 

Project Funding and Dates

Funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Programme, this project runs from December 2021 - February 2023.

Project Team

Eluska Fernandez (PI) (School of Applied Social Studies & ISS21, UCC), Dr Carol Kelleher (Dept. of Management and Marketing & ISS21) and Dr Colin Hawkes (CUH), working in partnership with CUH Charity.

For further details contact: e.fernandez@ucc.ie 


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

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