The psychiatric status of 40 diabetic youths in good control and 40 diabetic youths in poor control was compared with the psychiatric status of a matched nondiabetic control group selected from a family practice clinic. The numbers of youths with psychiatric diagnoses, interpersonal conflicts, and noninterpersonal conflicts were determined from a semistructured psychiatric interview done by the investigator. The good-control diabetic group had significantly fewer youths with both types of conflicts when compared with the control group and the poor-control diabetic group. However, psychiatric diagnoses were made with equal frequency in all three groups. Results of a parent questionnaire concerning a youth's behavior problems revealed significant differences only for two items—“anxiety” and “depression”—which were more frequent problems for diabetic youths in poor control. The good-control diabetic group seemed to be in the best mental health, and their families were less prone to divorce. Youths in poor diabetic control were not very different psychologically from the nondiabetic control group except for the parents' report of more frequent anxiety and depression. It was speculated that these youths were more anxious because of the progression of the diabetic condition, which became less predictable as the control worsened. The low per cent of psychiatric diagnoses in the investigator's groups was in contrast to other studies. The results of the study seemed to indicate that there was no need to worry about the negative emotional effects of a structured medical regimen for diabetes.

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