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Matern Child Health J. 2010 Jul;14(4):612-7. doi: 10.1007/s10995-009-0497-7. Epub 2009 Jul 16.

Associations of parent coping, stress, and well-being in mothers of children with diabetes: examination of data from a national sample.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Children's National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA.


Caring for a child with diabetes is associated with parental stress and difficulties with psychological and physical functioning. Although small samples of children and parents have been studied to examine the relationship of parental stress and coping with well-being, little has been done looking at broader, national samples. The current study examined data on parental demographics, stress, coping, psychological well-being, and physical well-being from a national dataset (NSCH). A subset of 278 mothers who had children diagnosed with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2; M age = 12.1; 46% female children; 78% white) were included in the analyses for the current study. Results suggested that mothers of non-white children and mothers from single parent households experience poorer psychological and physical well-being than mothers of white children or mothers with a partner. Further, more stress was related to less positive psychological well-being, and poorer maternal coping was related to decreases in psychological and physical well-being. Findings support previous research with smaller, local samples and indicate the importance of addressing maternal stress and coping and providing interventions when needed for mothers of children with diabetes.

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