Managing Type I Diabetes During Adolescence: Social Relationships and Identity

Willie Joe Marquez : Sociology, Education (minor)

Mentor: Professor Ann Swidler

Adolescence is a pivotal period for developing friendships and identity. For chronically ill adolescents, however, this developmental period may be disrupted due to the lifestyle limitations associated with carefully managing their illness. To examine the extent to which a chronic illness alters an adolescent’s social relationships and identity, Willie will conduct in-depth interviews with University of California, Berkeley students with and without Type I Diabetes about their experiences within four contexts: social networks, the family, secondary school, and self-perception. Ultimately, Willie’s study will include public health policy implications by providing an accurate portrait of the lived experiences of chronically ill adolescents, and the types of support they may need to accommodate their unique needs and be better integrated into society.