The level of stress experienced in the parenting role by mothers of 49 children with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and its relationshipto glycemic control was examined with the parenting stress index (PSI). A subsample of the research group of 25 children with diabetes (≤11 yr old) was compared with an agematched control group (n = 21) drawn from the original study of the PSI on total stress, parent- and childdomain, and subdomain scale scores. The two groups differed on one child-domain subscale, whereby children with diabetes are perceived by their mothers as more demanding than healthy controls. Three parentsubscale differences existed between the two groups, with mothers of children with diabetes reporting less attachment to their children, less spousal support, and poorer health. Analysis of the diabetes sample demonstrated significant stress on several of the child- and parent-domain subscales in a large proportion of the sample. Stress, at levels s≥70th percentile of the control group, existed on the child scales of acceptability, mood, demanding behavior, and reinforcement for 51% of children with diabetes. Elevations associated with stress in the parenting role were evident on the scales associated with parental attachment, depression, and competence for 33% of parents. No differences in the level of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1) existed between children whose mothers reported high levels of stress in themselves and their children and those whose mothers reported little stress. Hierarchal regression analysis demonstrated a significant relationship between the child stress scale of distractibility, the use of self-monitoring blood glucose.

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