A Pilot Study of Acute Stress Symptoms in Parents and Youth Following Diagnosis of Type I Diabetes

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The primary aims of this exploratory study were to determine the rate of occurrence of acute stress disorder (ASD) in children newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and their parents, to examine relationships with demographic and psychosocial factors, and to examine the relationships between ASD symptom clusters and early adherence behavior (clinic attendance). The sample consisted of 102 parents of children ages 0-17 years and 40 youth ages 11-17 who were evaluated within three days of diabetes diagnosis. Eighteen percent of parents and 17% of youth reported subthreshold symptoms of ASD. Acute stress symptoms and demographic variables predicted clinic attendance, with a differential pattern evident in the responses of youth and their parents. These findings reinforce the importance of screening symptoms of ASD in youth with newly diagnosed diabetes and their parents to assist in identifying families who may be in need of additional support.

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