Coping Skills Training

Coping Skills Training

Helping Youth and Their Families Deal with Diabetes

Background & Goal

Young people who suffer from type 1 diabetes – and their parents – need help dealing with the special challenges of that disease. Coping skills also are needed by youths at risk for type 2 diabetes (30-40 percent of new cases of diabetes in youth are type 2, which used to be a disease of the elderly).

Coping Skills Training assures that targeted youths – those of middle school age – have better metabolic control, quality of life, self-efficacy and coping skills than those who have received conventional diabetes education.

Center Description

Coping Skills Training is a cognitive behavior intervention designed and delivered originally by nurses and other health professionals in small groups, building on the standard of care in diabetes education. The focus is on improving the coping skills of social problem-solving, communication skills, stress management, and cognitive behavioral modification. The ultimate goal is to improve peer, school, and family relationships and enhance self-management. The program focuses particularly on youths in their early teens, helping to assure that negative behaviors are addressed before extensive damage is done to the child’s health. Current efforts have translated the program to a web-based format with graphic novel videos to illustrate skills.

For More Information Contact:

Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, FAAN

Dean and Annie Goodrich Professor 
100 Church Street South
New Haven, CT 06519

Evidence of Success

  • Youths with type 1 diabetes had much better physical and mental health – such that, if sustained, would result in a 25% reduction in long-term complications, at a savings of millions of dollars (2000).
  • Diabetes prevention participants demonstrated trends in lower glucose and insulin levels. Health behavior outcomes showed trends toward better choices of foods, resulting in reduced risk of diabetes development (2009).
  • Parents and grandparents of targeted youths demonstrated improvements in overall health behaviors, including healthier nutrition choices, improved stress management skills, increased physical activity and improved interpersonal relations (2009).
  • The web-based version of Coping Skills Training (TEENCOPE™) reaches 85-90% of youth (age 11-14 years, 72% White) and results in high satisfaction and participation.