This study examined relationships between the extent to which doctors seek to achieve good (i.e., tight) diabetic control during childhood and the frequency of psychosocial problems in later life. A sample of 225 young adults with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was studied by use of a systematic interview. A measure of the level of control the doctor was attempting to achieve was developed from questionnaires administered to the doctors who provided most of the patient's care during childhood. The results were compared with scores on three indices of psychosocial functioning based on responses given in structured interviews with the patients. Although potentially important psychosocial problems were found for 10–20%, there was no statistically significant relationship between any of these problems and the doctors' desired levels of control. Thus, efforts to achieve good control during childhood, whether successful or not, may not be followed by psychosocial problems in later life. This finding should help support clinicians' attempts to obtain the levels of control during childhood judged to be essential in preventing serious organic complications.

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