Mediators of Depressive Symptoms in Children with Type 1 Diabetes and their Mothers

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Abstract

Objective

To examine the relationships among maternal and child depressive symptoms and child and family psychosocial factors. Method Secondary analysis of baseline data for a coping skills intervention for school-age children (ages 8–12) with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and their mothers. Children and mothers completed measures of depressive symptoms, coping, quality of life, and family functioning.

Results

There was a strong relationship between maternal and child depressive symptoms (r=.44, p < .001). Maternal depressive symptoms were negatively related to child quality of life, perceptions of coping, and family functioning. Impact of diabetes on quality of life, finding coping with diabetes upsetting, and family warmth mediated the relationship between maternal and child depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

Maternal depression may negatively affect child adjustment through its influence on quality of life, coping, and family functioning. Implications for interventions to improve psychosocial adjustment in children with T1D are discussed.

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