Secrecy From Parents and Type 1 Diabetes Management in Late Adolescence


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Abstract

Objectives This study examined (a) associations of parent–adolescent relationship characteristics and adolescent problem behavior with late adolescents’ secrecy from parents about type 1 diabetes management, and (b) whether secrecy was associated with diabetes and psychological outcomes independently of these factors. Methods Adolescents (N = 247, Mage = 17.76 years) completed survey measures of diabetes-related secrecy from parents, disclosure, parental acceptance, parental knowledge, and conduct problems. Mothers and adolescents reported on adolescent adherence to diabetes regimens and adolescents reported their depressive symptoms. Glycemic control was obtained from HbA1c test kits. Results Adolescent-reported disclosure to parents was uniquely negatively associated with secrecy from parents. Controlling for relationship variables, conduct problems, and sociodemographic and illness-related variables, secrecy from mothers was uniquely associated with poorer glycemic control and secrecy from both parents was associated with lower adherence. Conclusions Secrecy about type 1 diabetes management is uniquely associated with diabetes outcomes independent of other relationship characteristics and problem behaviors.

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