Performance-based and questionnaire measures of executive function in adolescents with type 1 diabetes

  • Emily R. Hamburger
  • Morgan Lyttle
  • Bruce E. Compas
  • Sarah S. JaserEmail author


The purpose of the current study was to examine executive function (EF) in adolescents with type 1 diabetes using both performance-based and questionnaire measures in relation to diabetes indicators. Adolescents age 13–17 completed performance-based measures of EF and measures of adherence. Adolescents’ parents reported on adolescents’ EF and adherence. HbA1c and frequency of blood glucose monitoring (glucometer data) were obtained from adolescents’ medical records. None of the performance-based measures of EF were significantly associated with adherence or with HbA1c. Parent-reported problems with EF were associated with poorer adherence, and adolescents who scored in the impaired range of the Behavioral Regulation Index of EF had significantly poorer adherence (both parent-reported adherence and frequency of blood glucose monitoring) and higher HbA1c than those in the normal range. Our findings suggest that parent-reported measures of EF may be more strongly linked to diabetes indicators than performance-based measures.


Adherence Adolescents Executive function Diabetes management Type 1 diabetes mellitus 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DP3DK097678-01S1).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Emily R. Hamburger, Morgan Lyttle, Bruce E. Compas and Sarah S. Jaser declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Human DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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