Parenting adolescent girls with type 1 diabetes: Parents' perspectives

Alison E. Mellin, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Joan M. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore parents' perceptions of the impact of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on the family and to better understand parent-child conflict, parental worries, and coping strategies related to the management of DM in adolescence. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with the parents of 30 adolescent girls who had DM for at least 1 year. Using standard procedures for content analysis, themes were identified from the parents' discussions. Results: Although parents reported worries, conflicts, and negative impacts of the DM on their family, they also recognized positive aspects of the DM (e.g., it promotes adolescent responsibility) and had strategies to cope with its challenges (e.g., letting go of perfectionism in disease management, keeping a positive attitude). Conclusions: Findings from this study can be used by clinicians to assess parents' concerns about DM and to help them discover ways to cope with their worries and stay involved with the disease's management. Considering the parents' perspective will likely lead to parents feeling understood by the health care team and will help to reduce their worries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by a grant from St. Paul Children’s Hospitals and Clinics Foundation.


  • Adolescent
  • Diabetes
  • Family
  • Parenting
  • Qualitative analysis


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