A Pilot Study of Observed Parenting and Adjustment in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes and their Mothers

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Objectives The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the association of observed parenting behaviors with adjustment in adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and their mothers. Methods Adolescents with T1D (n = 30) and their mothers provided data on psychosocial adjustment and engaged in a discussion task about diabetes stress, which was coded for parenting behavior. Clinical data (i.e., HbA1c) was obtained from adolescents’ medical records. Results Mothers’ symptoms of anxiety and depression were related to lower levels of child-centered parenting. Higher levels of observed child-centered parenting and positive reinforcement and lower levels of maternal hostility and parental influence were related to better psychosocial adjustment in adolescents (i.e., fewer depressive symptoms, better quality of life) and better metabolic control. Conclusions Results support the use of observational data in this population and provide estimates of effect sizes between parenting variables, maternal and adolescent psychosocial adjustment, and metabolic control.

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