A typology of coping with Type 1 diabetes in emerging adulthood: associations with demographic, psychological, and clinical parameters

J Behav Med. 2010 Jun;33(3):228-38. doi: 10.1007/s10865-010-9249-9. Epub 2010 Jan 28.


The present study set out to develop a typology of illness coping (as assessed through tackling spirit, illness integration, passive resignation, and avoidance coping) in a sample of 194 emerging adults (18-30 years) with Type 1 diabetes. Four groups, each with their own unique profile scores on illness coping, were identified through cluster analysis: active integrated, passive avoidant, high generic low integrated, and low generic high integrated coping. These clusters were differentiated on the basis of demographic, psychological (problem areas in diabetes, illness perceptions, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem), and clinical parameters (HbA(1c)-values indexing glycemic control). The active integrated cluster (and, to a lesser extent, the low generic high integrated cluster) evidenced the most optimal profile (i.e., better glycemic control, low depressive symptoms, etc.), the passive avoidant cluster (and, to a lesser extent, the high generic low integrated cluster) the least optimal profile. Implications for the study and practice of coping with a chronic illness are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Belgium
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human