Janice Mace


This study was a descriptive survey establishing a baseline level of self-esteem and health locus of control in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) adolescents. The purpose of the research was to study and describe health behaviors of IDDM adolescents in regards to self-concept and health locus of control. These behaviors are believed to have life-long ramifications on the IDDM adolescent's health status.

The sample consisted of 91 IDDM adolescents, 34 male and 57 female, in a nonrandom convenience cluster attending a 10-day summer camp.

Null hypothesis one was: Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus would make no difference at the .05 level of significance on the self-esteem of the 13 to 16 year old adolescent when compared to published normal levels of 5,024 adolescents (Rosenberg, 1972). The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) was used and the method of statistical analysis was descriptive and inferential. Analysis did not show a significant difference between the sample and Rosenberg's (1972) published norms; therefore, null hypothesis was one retained.

Chi square statistics were used with established levels of seven other psychosocial variables and the high, medium and low levels of self-esteem. Low self-esteem was significantly (p=.005) associated with poor general diabetic control in males.

Null hypothesis two stated that there would be no difference at the .05 level of significance in the internal or external locus of control of the 13 to 16 year old IDDM adolescent with high, medium or low self-esteem. The Multidimension Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Questionnaire was administered to the sample (Wallston; Wallston, 1979). Three dimensions of health locus of control were used: (1) internality, (2) externality which is powerful others, and (3) chance.

Descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized and Chi square analysis used between the three MHLC scales and high, medium and low levels of self-esteem. No statistical significance was found in their relationships. Therefore, null hypothesis two was retained. The median test was employed to establish health locus of control scale norm levels for IDDM adolescents. The sample's levels with the exception of the powerful others scale (expected to rise with chronic disease) was approximately the same as Wallston and Wallston's (1981) 1,194 college students' levels.

Chi square statistics were used with levels of the seven psychosocial variables compared with the internal, powerful others, and chance scales of the MHLC. There was significance (p=.02) shown in the number of internal males who were in good general diabetic control. There was a significant tread towards internality (p=0.07) in females who managed their diabetic regimen independent of their parents. Lastly there was a significant trend (p=.06) if external males and females highly placed on the chance scale whose diabetic control (glycosuria) improved during their 10 days at camp.

Future research directions would include implementation of programs to raise self-esteem of IDDM adolescents and an evaluation of their effect on diabetic control. Because this study suggested that for IDDM adolescents internal control was markedly influenced by external factors, future investigators using locus of control for behavioral compliance need to become more aware of "actual" control, preferences for control, and how their expectancies for control interface with the reality of each client's environment.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Clarice J. Woodward

Second Advisor

L. Frances Pride

Third Advisor

Audrey L. Burgess

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Diabetes Mellitus -- in adolescence; Ego; Internal-External Control.



Page Count

vii; 68

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives