About one in five adolescents experiences depression and anxiety, and even more adolescents with type 1 diabetes. This negatively affects glycemic control due to less optimal self-care behaviors. Parents of adolescents with type 1 diabetes also experience more emotional problems compared with other parents. Earlier research suggests that in the general population, children of depressed parents are at increased risk of developing depression and anxiety themselves. Not much is known about this association between adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their parents. Maternal depression has been linked to HbA1c and it has been suggested that the quantity and quality of parental involvement could be involved. Many studies were limited by their cross-sectional design, however.
As part of the ‘Longitudinal study of Emotional problems in Adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their Parents/caregivers’ (Diabetes LEAP) study it was hypothesized that:
Although this study has a number of strengths (prospective design, focus on adolescent mental health and diabetes outcomes, validated questionnaires) the authors describe a number of limitations which may (partly) explain the findings:
Concluding, the authors state