An Assessment of Self-Efficacy and Glucose Control After Attendance at a Summer Camp for Children and Adolescents With Diabetes

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition and Food Systems

First Advisor

Denise M. Brown

Advisor Department

Nutrition and Food Systems


The purpose of this research was to measure the relationship between children and adolescents' self-efficacy towards diabetes management and their overall blood glucose control. A survey instrument was developed to measure self-efficacy towards diabetes management in youth ages 7-18. The researcher then used the survey instrument to measure the self-efficacy of a group of youth before and after attending a summer camp for youth with diabetes. Self-efficacy was examined for its possible influence on glucose control as measured by glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which was measured using an in-home test kit. The relationships between gender, age, self-efficacy, and HbA1c were also assessed. Results of the diabetes self-efficacy survey indicated an increase in pre-camp self-efficacy score from a mean of 1.28 ± .31 to 1.46 ± .31 after camp, which was statistically significant at t = -4.88(40), p < .001. The difference between pre- and post-camp HbA1c failed to reach statistical significance (pre-camp mean = 8.24 ± 1.24, post-camp mean = 8.09 ± 1.33, t (24) = .67, p = .50), demonstrating that there was no measurable change in blood glucose control for the duration of this study. There were no significant differences in post-camp HbA1c and post-camp self-efficacy by age or gender in this group of subjects. No statistical relationship was found between mean self-efficacy scores and HbA1c. The use of a self-reported self-efficacy instrument has been shown to be a viable method of assessing self-efficacy in a group of children as young as age seven, and adolescents. Obtaining a greater understanding of the effects of self-efficacy on health-related behavior in chronic disease management may provide educators with a greater opportunity to provide practical knowledge for application in everyday life. This researcher thinks that the findings from this study and future studies might be applied by health educators in settings other than summer camps, providing more youth with diabetes and other chronic diseases the chance to increase their self-efficacy regarding disease management and to improve overall health.