Parent-Rated Family Climate: A Concomitant to Metabolic Control in Juvenile IDDM?*

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Abstract

Parents in 25 families with a diabetic child in poor metabolic control rated their family climate with a checklist containing 85 adjectives constituting four climate factors: Closeness, Distance, Expressiveness, and Chaos. Data were obtained before and after one of three treatment conditions: family therapy, pediatric support, and conventional treatment. Data also were obtained from 12 patients in optimal metabolic control and their families, and from 10 reference families with healthy children. Prior to treatment, the parents of children in poor metabolic control rated their family climate as lower on Closeness and higher on Chaos, as compared with the parents of children in optimal control. No differential effects on family climate were found between the family therapy and pediatric support groups. The combined treatment groups rated themselves as higher on Closeness and lower on Chaos after intervention than before. We concluded that parents with children in poor metabolic control normalize their selfrated family climate following family treatment.

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