The relationship between parenting stress and parent-child interaction with health outcomes in the youngest patients with type 1 diabetes (0-7 years)

Anke M Nieuwesteeg, Esther E Hartman*, Henk-Jan Aanstoot, Hedwig J A van Bakel, Wilco H M Emons, Edgar van Mil, Frans Pouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


UNLABELLED: To test whether parenting stress and the quality of parent-child interaction were associated with glycemic control and quality of life (QoL) in young children (0-7 years) with type 1 diabetes (T1DM), we videotaped 77 families with a young child with T1DM during mealtime (including glucose monitoring and insulin administration). Parent-child interactions were scored with a specifically designed instrument. Questionnaires assessed general and disease-related parenting stress and (diabetes-specific (DS)) QoL. HbA(1c) (glycemic control) was extracted from the medical records. Both general and disease-related parenting stress were associated with a lower (DS)QoL (r ranged from -0.39 to -0.70, p < 0.05), but not with HbA(1c) levels. Furthermore, with regard to the parent-child interaction, emotional involvement of parents (r = 0.23, p < 0.05) and expressed discomfort of the child (r = 0.23, p < 0.05) were related to suboptimal HbA(1c) levels. There was no clear pattern in the correlations between parent-child interaction and (DS)QoL.

CONCLUSION: The results support the notion that diabetes does not only affect the child with T1DM: T1DM is a family disease, as parenting factors (like stress and parent-child interactions) are associated with important child outcomes. Therefore, it is important for health-care providers to not only focus on the child with T1DM, but also on the family system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-38
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood Glucose
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/psychology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A/analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting/psychology
  • Parents/psychology
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Stress, Psychological/psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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