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Self-Regulation and Diabetes Management in Late Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood.

We have examined how the development of neurocognitive- and emotion-control processes across late adolescence and emerging adulthood may affect diabetes self-management. My team is among the first to demonstrate that individuals with lower executive function skills display deterioration in HbA1c (i.e., poorer blood glucose levels) longitudinally in the first three years after high school. Through daily diary studies, we have found that daily diabetes goal planning has a strong association with self-management behaviors, and that daily planning to keep others from interfering with diabetes goals is linked to better daily management, especially among those with poorer executive functions. We also have found that even those with good executive functions experience daily self-regulation failures (e.g., get derailed by daily stressors). These findings point to the need to foster self-regulation skills and social relationships in the context of emerging adults’ daily lives.