The Psychosocial Adjustment of Adolescents With Chronic Health Condition (A Study of Epileptic and Diabetic Adolescents)

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Addis Ababa University


The study was primarily aimed at examining the psychological and social adjustment of epileptic and diabetic adolescents as compared with 'healthy ' group of adolescents. Moreover, the study also aimed at further investigating into the role of some demographic variables (age, gender), clinical variables (illness duration, health attack frequency) as well as attitude towards illness for the psychological and social adjustment of the epileptic, diabetic and 'healthy' group of adolescents who took parI in the study. Data were collected by way of questionnaires from a total of J 56 conveniently selected adolescents (52 epileptic, 52 diabetic, and 52 'healthy' . adolescents that were matched for age and sex) from two local hospitals and three government schools in Addis Ababa. The data were analyzed by making use of an independent I-test, one way ANOTfA, Scheffe 's procedure, and mean comparisons. The findings of the study revealed that adolescents with epilepsy had more psychological and social adjustment problems compared with 'healthy' as well as diabetic adolescents. Diabetic adolescents, on other hand, exhibited relatively similar psychological and social adjustment outcomes as the 'healthy' adolescents. Among epileptic adolescents, a relatively higher seizure frequency and unfavorable altitude towards illness were found to be significantly associated with psychological and social adjustment problems. However in diabetic adolescents, except the female gender that was significantly associated with psychological adjustment problems, none of the studied demographic variables, clinical variables as well as attitude towards illness demonstrated association with the adolescents' psychological and social adjustment Epileptic adolescents seemed to endure more compromised psychological and ocial adjustment problems. To this end the study primarily recommended the integration of psychosocial support services with medical services. Moreover, making accessible appropriate epilepsy related information to the adolescents was sugge 'ted along many other recommendations