Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The aims of this study were to identify what family environment and parenting practices are related to diabetic adherence and healthy psychological adjustment in children with diabetes as compared to children without diabetes. Participants included 60 families, including 30 families with children with diabetes and 30 age- and gender-matched controls without diabetes. Questionnaires were administered to the target child (the child with diabetes or the control child without) that assessed symptoms of depression, anxiety, self-concept and coping strategies. Additionally, one parent from each family completed questionnaires measuring family environment, parental stress, and parenting practices, as well as symptoms of his or her child's internalizing and externalizing behaviors and diabetic adherence. Contrary to many findings in the literature, results revealed no significant differences between groups on measures of interest. Significant associations were found between measures of family functioning (e.g., conflict, ineffective parenting strategies) and child outcomes for each group. Additionally, results for diabetic families found that greater parental involvement was associated with better metabolic control, earlier diagnosis of diabetes was associated with greater parental supervision, and ineffective parenting behaviors (e.g., laxness, overreactivity) were associated with more problematic child behaviors. However, it also appears that children with diabetes who participated in the study were not significantly different from their healthy peers in their psychological functioning and did not reveal clinically significant difficulties overall.