Psychological adjustment of carers of children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Francesca E. Thompson, Philip B. Bergman, Margaret Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Context As type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is predominantly diagnosed during childhood, the responsibilities of T1DM management often fall to carers. Caring for a child with a chronic illness brings with it additional responsibilities and burdens.

Aims This study employed Thompson's Transactional Stress and Coping model (TTSCM) to explore psychological adjustment of carers of children with T1DM.

Design/Methods This cross-sectional correlational study included a sample of 93 carers of children with T1DM. Via an online questionnaire, carers were administered measures of cognitive processes (illness and general stress appraisal and self-efficacy), methods of coping, and family functioning. Illness information from clinical records was also collected.

Results Three distinct coping styles emerged. These were labeled proactive, avoidant, and reframing/reflecting coping. Canonical correlations revealed that the TTSCM accounted for 44% of the variance in carer adjustment, with both illness and general stress appraisal, and avoidant coping making the largest contributions.

Conclusions Findings supported the utility of TTSCM in this population, and that stress appraisal and copings strategies should be the focal points for psychological intervention when working toward positive psychological adjustment in this patient group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Social Health and Diabetes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • carer psychological well-being
  • carer adjustment
  • Thompson transactional stress and coping
  • stress appraisal
  • coping

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