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J Pediatr Psychol. 2020 Mar 20. pii: jsaa011. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsaa011. [Epub ahead of print]

Diabetes-Specific Self-Compassion: A New Measure for Parents of Youth With Type 1 Diabetes.

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Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine.
Virta Health Corp.



Given the high daily demands of managing type 1 diabetes (T1D), parents of youth with T1D can experience high levels of emotional distress, burden, and self-criticism, with implications for parent and child well-being and parent self-efficacy for managing diabetes. Diabetes-specific self-compassion (SC), or being kind to oneself when facing challenges related to managing diabetes, may serve as protective for parents. This study aimed to create and assess the psychometric properties of a new tool, the diabetes-specific Self-Compassion Scale (SCS-Dp), to assess diabetes-specific SC in parents of youth with T1D.


We adapted a parent diabetes-specific SC measure; surveyed parents (N = 198; parent: 88% female; 95% non-Hispanic White; M age = 44 ± 8.9; child: 46% female; M age = 13 ± 3.4, range 2-18 years; 83% insulin pump users; 40% continuous glucose monitor (CGM) users; HbA1c from clinic data available for 76 participants: M HbA1c = 8.1 ± 1.3%) and conducted confirmatory factor analysis, and reliability and construct validity analyses. Validity measures included diabetes distress, diabetes empowerment, diabetes numeracy, and HbA1c.


A bifactor structure provided the best fit, with one general factor and two wording-related group factors (positively and negatively worded items). The final 19-item SCS-Dp demonstrated excellent internal consistency (α =.94; range of item-total correlations: .52-.81) and good construct validity. As predicted, greater SC was associated with lower distress (r = -.68, p < .001) and greater empowerment (r = .43, p < .001) and was not associated with diabetes numeracy (p = .61). Diabetes-specific Self-Compassion Scale was not associated with HbA1c (p = .28).


Results provide initial evidence of good reliability and validity of the SCS-Dp to assess diabetes-specific SC in parents.


confirmatory factor analysis; mindfulness; scale validation; self-compassion; type 1 diabetes


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