The Diabetes Family Behavior Checklist (DFBC) was administered to 54 adults and 18 adolescents (<19 yr of age) with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Subjects and family members completed parallel forms of the DFBC at initial and 6-mo follow-up home interviews. During each of these periods, adherence was assessed via self-report, 1 wk of self-monitoring, and 24-h dietary recalls. The results showed reliable differences between adolescents and adults. More negative interactions with family members were reported by adolescents and their family members, and adolescents were in poorer metabolic control. For adults but not adolescents, negative DFBC scores were prospectively predictive of poorer regimen adherence over the 6-mo interval for measures of glucose testing, insulin injection, and dietary adherence. In addition, higher negative DFBC scores for adults were marginally associated with higher HbA1 levels (P < 0.10). We conclude that the DFBC is a promising measure of family interaction related specifically to the IDDM regimen and that, for adults, higher levels of nonsupportive family behaviors may be related to reduced regimen adherence and poor control.

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