Correlates of depressive symptoms in adolescents with type 1 diabetes

Pediatr Diabetes. 2002 Sep;3(3):135-43. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-5448.2002.30303.x.


Purpose: To determine correlates of depression in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Methods: Data on 117 adolescents participating in a longitudinal study (72 F, 45 M; 95 W; age = 14.3 +/- 2.0 yr; duration = 6.3 +/- 3.7) were collected with the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), Diabetes Family Behavior Scale (DFBS), Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale (FACES), and chart review at study entry and 2-year follow-up.

Results: Fifteen per cent of adolescents in this sample demonstrated depressive symptoms (CDI > 13) at study entry and 10% at 2 yr follow-up. Adolescents aged 14.1-16 yr and those with diabetes > 10 yr demonstrated the highest rates. When demographic/clinical variables were controlled, the DFBS warmth-caring subscale (p = 0.001) and the FACES adaptability subscale (p = 0.005), but not DFBS guidance-control (p = 0.635), contributed significantly to the explained variance in depressive symptoms (R(2) = 0.27) at study entry. At 2 yr follow-up, study entry CDI scores were the only significant predictor of depressive symptoms (R(2) = 0.40). By 2 yr, adolescents with depressive symptoms had significantly higher HbA1c than those without (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: The prevalence of depressive symptoms in adolescents with type 1 diabetes coupled with the potential impact of depressive symptoms on metabolic control suggest the need for early diagnosis and treatment. Greater attention to psychosocial outcomes of youth, family functioning, and the potential burden of diabetes over time to youth/families is indicated.