Emotional Processing and Self-Control in Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes

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Objective This study examined whether emotional processing (understanding emotions), self-control (regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behavior), and their interaction predicted HbA1c for adolescents with type 1 diabetes over and above diabetes-specific constructs. Methods Self-report measures of self-control, emotional processing, self-efficacy for diabetes management, diabetes-specific negative affect, and adherence, and HbA1c from medical records were obtained from 137 adolescents with type 1 diabetes (M age = 13.48 years). Results Emotional processing interacted with self-control to predict HbA1c, such that when adolescents had both low emotional processing and low self-control, HbA1c was poorest. Also, both high emotional processing and self-control buffered negative effects of low capacity in the other in relation to HbA1c. The interaction of emotional processing × self-control predicted HbA1c over diabetes-specific self-efficacy, negative affect, and adherence. Conclusions These findings suggest the importance of emotional processing and self-control for health outcomes in adolescents with diabetes.

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