The effects of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus on cognitive functioning, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems in children


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Student: SİNEM AKAY

Supervisor: ÖZLEM BOZO ÖZEN

Abstract:

The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) on the cognitive functioning, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems in children between the ages of 7 and 12. The sample was composed of elementary school children living in Ankara, Turkey. Data was collected by administering demographic information form, Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Revised (WISC-R), and Specific Learning Disability Scale. One-way ANOVAs were employed to examine the differences among the levels of parental education, income, school achievement, and child’s adherence to IDDM in terms of WISC-R scores, learning difficulty related variables, behavioral problems, and depression. Results revealed that children with low adherence to IDDM were more likely to experience behavioral problems and depression. T-tests were conducted to examine the mean differences between IDDM and control groups in terms of WISC-R scores, and the variables related to learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and depression. As compared to control group, children with IDDM had lower WISC-R information, similarities, arithmetic, and total scores. Also, children with IDDM had lower achievement in several arithmetic, reading, and writing tasks. Furthermore, hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the effect of IDDM adherence, age of onset, and illness duration on cognitive functioning, learning, and behaviors. The results did not reveal any significant effect of IDDM related variables on children’s cognitive functioning, learning, or behaviors. Findings were discussed with reference to the relevant literature. Implications of the study were discussed and future research topics were suggested.