Psychosocial Aspects


Nieuwesteeg AM, Hartman EE, Aanstoot HJ, van Bakel HJ, Emons WH, van Mil E, Pouwer F.

The relationship between parenting stress and parent-child interaction with health outcomes in the youngest patients with type 1 diabetes (0-7 years). Eur J Pediatr. 2016;175:329-38.

Parenting stress and parent-child interactions can be associated with negative health outcomes in very young children with T1DM, according to the results of this investigation.


The study involved analysis of videos of 77 families with a young child (up to 7 years old) with T1DM, taken during mealtime and including glucose monitoring and insulin administration. Parent-child interactions were scored, and questionnaires were used to measure general parenting stress, disease-related parenting stress, and diabetes-specific quality of life.


Key findings:

  • Both general and disease-related parenting stress were significantly associated with a lower disease-specific quality of life, although there was no significant association with HbA1c levels.
  • In terms of the parent-child interactions, the emotional involvement of parents and the expressed discomfort of the child were both significantly related to suboptimal HbA1c levels.
  • Overall, there was no clear pattern in the associations between parent-child interactions and disease-specific quality of life.


The researchers said the study results “support the notion that diabetes does not only affect the child with T1DM: T1DM is a family disease, as parenting factors (like stress and parent-child interactions) are associated with important child outcomes.” They concluded that it is important for healthcare providers to focus not only on the child with T1DM, but also on the family as a whole.


For PubMed abstract click here

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