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J Pediatr Psychol. 2002 Jul-Aug;27(5):429-38.

Peer and family support in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Division of Behavioral Health, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware 19899, USA.



To examine social support and peer and family involvement in relation to diabetes management within a developmental context.


Sixty-eight youths ages 8 to 17 diagnosed with type 1 diabetes participated. This study represents the phase 1 data from a multisystemic, home-based intervention. Data included parent and youth report of disease management and conflict, youth-reported perceptions of support, peer participation in the intervention, and HbA1c.


Adolescents perceived greater diabetes-related peer support than did school-age children. Perceived peer and family support were not correlated with metabolic control. Peer participation in the intervention was correlated with metabolic control.


There is a developmental shift in perceptions of peer support. Increased perceptions of peer and family support overall may not result in improved metabolic control. Social support interventions should focus on the types of support that are most highly associated with positive health outcomes.

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