A narrative exploration of identity in female adolescents with Type 1 diabetes




Wilson, Leah Joy.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness affecting approximately 200,000 children and adolescents in Canada (Canadian Diabetes Association, 2003). Throughout the school years, adolescents with diabetes go through a range of medical, emotional, educational, and familial challenges stemming from their experiences with diabetes (Kyngas, Hentinen, & Barlow, 1998). Research on identity formation in adolescents with diabetes, including youth voices, is limited. This research employed a narrative research design using auto-photography to explore narrative identity through female youth perspectives on self-descriptions and selfunderstanding. Content analysis and readings were conducted with interview transcripts. Analysis highlighted the complexity and multi-faceted nature of female adolescent identity. The salient aspects of across participant analysis included: (1) the importance of relationships, (2) diabetes as one aspect of self, (3) dislike of diabetes, (4) and the importance of knowing oneself (5) body awareness, (6) responsibility and strength. Implications for research, counselling, and health care practice were addressed.