Risky self-management behaviors in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: Measurement validation for the Diabetes-Specific Risk-Taking Inventory.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1111/pedi.13387


OBJECTIVE: Among persons with type 1 diabetes (T1D), adolescents often experience the greatest challenge achieving optimal treatment engagement and glycemic targets. Risk-taking behaviors often increase during adolescence and may interfere with engagement in T1D care. We developed the Diabetes-Specific Risk-Taking Inventory (DSRI) to assess risky T1D self-management behaviors in adolescents with T1D. In the current study, we aimed to examine the DSRI's psychometric properties.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We surveyed a national sample of 224 adolescents from the T1D Exchange registry (M age = 16.9 ± 1.1, 49% female, M A1c = 8.5% ± 1.3, 76.8% on insulin pumps) in a cross-sectional design. Participants completed the DSRI and measures of engagement, general risk-taking, and executive functioning and reported on incidence of severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis over the past year.

RESULTS: The DSRI demonstrated reliability (internal consistency: α = 0.89; test-retest reliability: r = 0.86, p < 0.01). Concurrent validity was demonstrated through significant associations between the DSRI and T1D engagement (r = -0.75), general risk-taking (r = 0.57), executive dysfunction (r = 0.34), and report of severe hypoglycemia over the past year (r = 0.22). The DSRI accounted for unique variance in adolescents' most recent glycated hemoglobin, above and beyond other variables, indicating its incremental validity.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, initial psychometrics suggest the DSRI is a reliable and valid measure of risks that adolescents may take with their T1D care. This innovative self-report measure has potential to be an actionable clinical tool to screen for high-risk behaviors not routinely assessed in T1D clinical care.

Journal Title

Pediatric diabetes





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Cross-Sectional Studies; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1; Female; Glycated Hemoglobin A; Humans; Hypoglycemia; Insulins; Male; Reproducibility of Results; Risk-Taking; Self-Management


adolescence; measure development; risk-taking; type 1 diabetes

Library Record