Parenting Characteristics of Female Caregivers of Children Affected by Chronic Endocrine Conditions: A Comparison Between Disorders of Sex Development and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

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Abstract

Rearing a child with a chronic illness is stressful and can potentially affect parenting style, which may result in poorer outcomes for children. The purpose of this study was to compare parenting characteristics of female caregivers rearing children with a disorder of sex development (DSD) to female caregivers rearing children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Caregivers of both groups were matched according to age and compared on measures of stress and parenting practices. Both groups demonstrated significant levels of stress and negative parenting practices. Children with T1DM and male children with non-life-threatening DSD were perceived as more vulnerable by their caregivers. Better understanding of parenting experiences of female caregivers rearing children with DSD, particularly male children, will facilitate the development of individualized interventions to ameliorate negative parenting practices and stress, with the long-term goal of improved health outcomes for their children.

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