Parent–Adolescent Dyadic Diabetes Distress: Associations With A1c and Diabetes-Related Strengths

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Introduction: This study examined concordance and discordance between parent–adolescent report of diabetes-specific emotional distress and associations with A1c and diabetes-related strengths. Diabetes strengths refer to adaptive behaviors and attitudes that enhance resilience in living with diabetes. Method: One thousand two hundred sixteen adolescent–parent dyads completed measures of diabetes distress and adolescent-reported diabetes strengths. Polynomial regression with response surface analysis assessed concordant and discordant reports of adolescent–parent distress and independent associations of each reporter’s distress on measures of diabetes strengths and A1c. Results: A1c was lower in concordantly lower distress dyads compared to concordantly higher distress dyads. For discordant dyadic reports, A1c was higher when distress was higher for parents and lower for adolescents compared to low-parent–high-adolescent distress. Greater diabetes-related strengths were reported when distress was concordantly low among dyads and fewer strengths were reported when distress was concordantly higher. Greater strengths were reported when distress was lower for adolescents and higher for parents compared to high-adolescent/low-parent distress. Dyadic distress for both A1c and diabetes strengths were robust when adjusted for significant demographic predictors of outcome including age, race, income, pump use, and continuous glucose monitoring use. Discussion: A1c and diabetes strengths are associated with degree of concordant and discordant reports of diabetes distress among adolescent–parent dyads. Programmatic interventions should target parents and adolescents, particularly when diabetes distress is higher among both adolescents and their parents.

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