Parental anxiety and depression associated with caring for a child newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes: opportunities for education and counseling

Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Nov;73(2):333-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.06.014.


Objective: To examine demographic and clinical characteristics, such as pediatric parenting stress and self-efficacy for diabetes care, of parents of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that are associated with parental anxiety and depression.

Methods: 102 parents reported on their levels of depression (CESD), state anxiety (STAI), pediatric parenting stress (PIP), and self-efficacy for diabetes care (SED) within 4 weeks of their child's diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Data were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression.

Results: Parents' scores in the clinical range for depression and anxiety were associated with increased frequency and difficulty of pediatric parenting stress, and there was a trend for depression to be related to lower self-efficacy for diabetes care. The association of female gender with anxiety and depression was partially mediated by more frequent pediatric parenting stress.

Conclusion: Parents of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are at risk for experiencing anxiety and depression, related, in part, to their experiences of pediatric parenting stress.

Practice implications: Providers and educators should be aware of the risk for depression and anxiety in parents and should work to decrease pediatric parenting stress, increase self-efficacy, and refer parents who are experiencing significant anxiety or depression following their child's diagnosis to a mental health specialist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mid-Atlantic Region / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Efficacy
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology