Parenting with Type 1 Diabetes: The Relationship between Parenting Support and Stress

  • Samantha A. Barry, PhD Diabetes Center of Excellence UMass Memorial Medical Center University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Stephanie T. Melton, PhD, MA, MPH University of South Florida
  • L. Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA University of South Florida http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2839-6639

Abstract

Objective: The present study examines the relationship between parenting self-efficacy, social support in parenting tasks, and parenting-related stress for parents with and without type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Research Design and Methods:  Parents with and without T1D completed self-report measures addressing demographic, parenting (e.g., parental stress, support, and self-efficacy), and diabetes-related variables. One-way ANOVAs examined the effect of parent T1D diagnosis on parent demographic and parenting-related data. In addition, regression analyses examined main and interactive effects of parent T1D diagnosis and perceived parenting support in accounting for parenting stress.

Results: Parents with a T1D diagnosis self-reported more parenting-related stress than parents without a T1D diagnosis. In addition, for parents with T1D, parenting stress was significantly positively correlated with parent age at diagnosis and significantly negatively correlated with most recent HbA1c, parenting self-agency, and perceived parenting support; however, among parents without a T1D diagnosis, the relationship between parenting stress and support was null. A regression analysis examining main and interactive effects of parent T1D diagnosis and perceived parenting support on parenting stress was significant, yielding a significant two-way interaction.

Conclusions:  Results suggest that parents with T1D may experience more parenting-related stress than parents without a chronic illness. Furthermore, higher levels of social support are associated with lower levels of parenting stress for this group of parents with T1D. Thus, results underscore the importance of parenting support for parents with T1D and further emphasize the importance of continued research in the area of parenting with T1D. 

Author Biographies

Samantha A. Barry, PhD, Diabetes Center of Excellence UMass Memorial Medical Center University of Massachusetts Medical School

Samantha Barry, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusettes Diabetes Center of Excellence. Dr. Barry's interests include pediatric diabetes psychology, family stress as it relates to diabetes care, and diabetes management in psychosocially vulnerable populations. Dr. Barry’s clinical goals include helping patients to develop effective coping mechanisms, to prioritize and set achievable goals, and to celebrate small achievements in patients’ daily lives to reinforce the positive. While diabetes educators teach patients about the disease, Dr. Barry points out, there is “a big difference between knowing and doing.” Her focus is primarily on the practical ways to assist patients with a chronic disease like diabetes by championing a holistic approach to the patient as “a whole person.” 

Stephanie T. Melton, PhD, MA, MPH, University of South Florida
Stephanie T. Melton, PhD, MA, MPH is a researcher at Nielsen. She received Masters degrees in Public Health and Applied Anthropology and doctorate in Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Her research focuses have been on the psycho-social factors that influence health and nutritional behaviors among children, youth and adults, as well as the application of qualitative methodology and social marketing to health promotion.
L. Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA, University of South Florida
Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA is the National Director of Mission for JDRF.  She received her Doctoral degree in Public Health at the University of South Florida and her Masters degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Regent University. Dr. Johnson has worked in diabetes for twenty years as an advocate, educator, researcher and public speaker. Presently, Dr. Johnson is the the Chair of the Board of the Diabetes Empowerment Foundation, a Board member of DECA, and an multi-term Appointee to the Florida Governors Diabetes Advisory Council. Dr. Johnson has lived with Type 1 diabetes since 1993 and was named Miss America 1999.
Published
2017-09-28
Section
Original Research Articles