Use of self-regulation principles to improve adolescent treatment adherence to the medical regimen for diabetes

Idit Shalev, Gary R. Geffken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A substantial percentage of youngsters with diabetes have treatment adherence problems that inevitably reduce treatment efficacy. Effective adherence to a diabetes treatment regimen requires adolescents' motivation to manage goal pursuit in the face of personal and situational obstacles. However, interventions are usually associated only with health promotion and not with the motivational structure typical of adolescents, their perceived purpose in life and their meaningful personal goals. Using principles for the motivation and self-regulation of goals adapted from the fields of social and personality psychology, we suggest a motivation-based conceptual framework to address the problem of treatment adherence. We argue that the failure to adhere to treatment is partially the result of the conflict between adolescents' health-related goals and their personal goals. We suggest that adolescents' motivation for treatment adherence can be increased and reinforced by forging an association between their personal life goals and their health-related goals. We present a 2-phase model for goal setting and goal striving that aims to improve patient evaluation and ability to cope with resource delusion in the face of numerous self-regulatory challenges associated with adherence to the medical treatment regimen for diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-377
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Diabetes regimen
  • Identity
  • Nonadherence
  • Self-regulation


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