This descriptive study investigated autonomy development among young adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM); assessed relationships among behavioral, cognitive, and emotional autonomy; and determined the relationships between these types of autonomy and metabolic control. Developmental and family theory provided the framework for this study. This investigation suggested that the pattern of autonomy for adolescents with IDDM is congruent with that of adolescents without chronic illness. The three autonomy types are conceptually distinct and one aspect of emotional autonomy was related to poorer metabolic control. Daughters and adolescents in one-parent families scored higher on this component. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All lights reserved.