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Fam Syst Health. 2009 Sep;27(3):237-48. doi: 10.1037/a0017117.

The role of parent-adolescent attachment in the glycemic control of adolescents with Type 1 diabetes: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14620, USA.


This pilot study explored the associations between parent and adolescent reports of adolescent attachment and glycemic control in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. We hypothesized that more secure attachment would correlate with more optimal diabetes control. Thirty-one families completed written self-report questionnaires about adolescent attachment, demographic data, and diabetes control. Adolescents and parents reported on their perceptions of adolescents' attachment to mothers and fathers. Mean HbA1c for the sample was 7.6% (SD = 1.14). Mothers' perceptions of adolescents' attachment were significantly correlated with adolescents' hemoglobin A1c (r = -.42, p = .022), indicating that maternal perceptions of more secure attachment was associated with better glycemic control. Neither fathers' perceptions nor adolescents' reports of attachment was significantly correlated with glycemic control. Attachment appears to be associated with glycemic control in this population though the mechanisms are unclear. Mothers' perceptions of attachment had the strongest associations with control, not adolescent reports. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms through which parent reports of adolescent attachment are associated with glycemic control.

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