Teaching Assertive Communication Skills to Adolescents with Diabetes: Evaluation of a Camp Curriculum

Karev E. Smith, Barbara Schreiner, Camilia Jackson, Luther B. Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Diabetes management requires consistently implementing adherence behaviors in a variety of settings. For some adolescents, consistency may be difficult due to problems in communication and assertiveness. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of a camp curriculum to teach assertive communication skills to adolescents with diabetes. The curriculum included didactic information, sharing ofpersonal experiences, and role playing. Results showed a significant increase in adolescents' perceptions of their assertiveness from before to after the camp experience, an increase that was still apparent at a 3-month follow-up. No changes were reported in parental perceptions oftheir adolescents' degree of openness in communicating or in communication problems. In contrast, adolescents reported a significant decrease in their degree of openness in communicating with fathers, with a similar tnend for mothers. These results suggest that the curriculum was successful in meeting the primary goal of enhancing the adolescents' assertive communication skills but had a questionable impact on their general communications with parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalThe Diabetes Educator
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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