Parents of teens with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are responsible for a labor-intensive and complicated daily regimen that has been described as overwhelming and requiring constant vigilance. Parents report high levels of stress, particularly during the adolescent transition. The primary aim of this study was to identify demographic (parent/child age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, marital status), clinical (T1D duration, pump use, CGM use, episodes of hypoglycemia, other health diagnoses) and psychosocial factors (depressive symptoms, family conflict, childhood-illness parenting stress, teen autonomy) associated with perceived stress in parents of teens with T1D. This was a secondary analysis of baseline data from parents (n=162) of teens with T1D (11-16 years) who were enrolled in a study to evaluate a web-based tool to help with the transition of diabetes care. Bivariate correlates of perceived stress were included in a multivariate model analysis. Parents were 45.6 (±5.3) years of age, 98% female, 91% white, 91% married/partnered, 51% high income, 36% with elevated depressive symptoms, and 40% with elevated anxiety symptoms. Teens had a mean A1C of 7.9 (±1.2), 5.(±3.62) years duration of diabetes, with 75% using an insulin pump, 69% using a CGM, and 39% reporting 20 or more episodes of hypoglycemia in the previous 3 months. Significant bivariate demographic, clinical, and psychosocial correlates were included in the model, in a stepwise procedure. Multivariate correlates of perceived stress were parent age, teen T1D duration, other teen health diagnosis (R2=0.13, p<.01), family conflict and childhood-illness parenting stress (R2 change=.30, p<.01), and parent depression (R2 change=.18, p<.01), explaining 62% of the variance. Parents of teens with T1D experience high stress and may need additional support to prevent and/or decrease family conflict, childhood-illness parenting stress, and depressive symptoms. Parent stress has health implications not only for parents, but also teens with T1D.


R. Whittemore: None. R. Delvy: None. J.L. Coleman: None. B. Kato: None. J.A. Ambrosoli: None. M.P. Maurao: None. R. Zincavage: None. L. Marceau: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at