Assessment of children’s self esteem with diabetes mellitus and of the elements that influence it

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic illness with an evolutionary course and acts on all life’s levels of a person: organic, gnostic, psychical, family, social and creates symptoms of insuffiency, of difference, depression, nutritional disturbances, guilt and low self esteem. AIM The aim of this study was the evaluation of childrens’ self esteem with type 1 Diabetes mellitus and the factors that may influence it. MATERIAL-METHOD In this study took part 144 children at the age of 7–15 who are out of patients at the Diabetological Center at the General Pediatric Hospital of Athens. Collection of the elements was alone with a structural questionnaire composed of a mould of demographic, physical and nosologic childrens’ characteristics and the Culture–Free: Self Esteem Inventory for Children, with a part of lie scale, from December of 2006 until June of 2007. For the study’s realization a permit was given from the Hospital’s Scientific Council. The data’s statistical analysis was fulfilled with the statistical program SPSS for Windows (version 15). RESULTS After the research’s results, these children doesn’t seem to present low self esteem because of their illness and the score of self esteem scale was 21 with biggest rate 25. The self esteem’s score for the boys (20.94) in connection with girls (21.18) of the study was lower. The connection’s factor of rs shows off that as the age, the BMI and the glycemic control increase, self esteem decreases respectively (rs=–0.40/rs=–0.10/rs=–0.04). Also, as the physical exercise time increases per week (rs=0.08), parents’ education and their participation in the program, self esteem is being increased (rs=0,04) for both controls. CONCLUSIONS The self esteem of the studied population is being influenced from sex and not by the illness and the age that illness appears. Α positive relationship between self esteem and physical exercise time per week, education level of parents and their participation in the program and negative relationship between self esteem and age, BMI and glycemic control (HBA). The proper recognition of the elements that influence a child’s self esteem and the assessment of negative repercussions on their personal and social life as well the management of chronic disease will contribute to the balance between well-controlled diabetes mellitus and psychological health.