Evid Based Mental Health 3:125 doi:10.1136/ebmh.3.4.125
  • Qualitative

Adolescents managed their asthma or diabetes in gendered ways with the aim of projecting different gendered identities

 QUESTION: How do social constructions of femininities and masculinities affect how adolescents live with and manage asthma or diabetes?


Qualitative research design using indepth interviews held in the participant's home.


Hospitals and general practitioners' offices in south west London, UK.


40 adolescents between 15 and 18 years of age, 20 with moderate to severe asthma (10 girls and 10 boys) and 20 with type 1 diabetes (10 girls and 10 boys). Mothers (and one father) of the adolescents also participated.


Qualitative interviews were conducted as flexible, semistructured guided conversations. The interview consisted of a series of prompts relating to topics of treatment, stigma, and illness management. The interviews were taped and fully transcribed. Transcripts were coded using the system of open coding described by Strauss and Corbin. A grounded theory approach was taken, which allowed themes and concepts to emerge from the data.

Main findings

Girls incorporated asthma or diabetes into their social and personal identities and were prepared to inform others and …

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