Families with children with diabetes: implications of parent stress for parent and child health.

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Abstract or Description

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relation of parent stress to parent mental health and child mental and physical health.

METHODS: We interviewed children with type 1 diabetes (n = 132; mean age 12 years) annually for 5 years and had one parent complete a questionnaire at each assessment. Parents completed measures of general life stress, stress related to caring for a child with diabetes, benefit finding, and mental health. Child outcomes were depressive symptoms, self-care behavior, and glycemic control. Multilevel modeling was used to examine concurrent and longitudinal relations.

RESULTS: Greater parent general stress and greater parent diabetes-specific stress were associated with poorer parent mental health. Overall, greater parent general stress was associated with poorer child outcomes, whereas greater parent diabetes-specific stress was associated with better child outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Families with high levels of general life stress should be identified as they are at risk for both poor parent and child health outcomes.




Published In

Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37, 4, 467-478.