Pediatric Parenting Stress and Its Relation to Depressive Symptoms and Fear of Hypoglycemia in Parents of Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

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Abstract

Parents of young children with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) maintain full responsibility for their child's daily diabetes self-care and thus may be vulnerable to experiencing parenting stress. This study examined several psychological correlates of pediatric parenting stress in parents of young children with T1DM. Parents of 39 young children with T1DM (ages 2-7 years) completed measures of pediatric parenting stress, mealtime behavior problems, depressive symptoms, and fear of hypoglycemia. For parents of young children, higher stress frequency and difficulty were associated with higher parental depressive symptoms and fear. Regression analyses identified that 58% of the variance in stress frequency was associated with parental depressive symptoms. For stress difficulty, 68% of the variance was associated with parental depressive symptoms and fear. Pediatric parenting stress is common in parents of young children with T1DM. Stress and the psychological correlates measured in this study are amenable to intervention and should be regularly assessed in parents of young children with T1DM.

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