Paternal involvement in pediatric Type 1 diabetes: fathers' and mothers' psychological functioning and disease management

Fam Syst Health. 2012 Mar;30(1):47-59. doi: 10.1037/a0027519.


Psychological functioning in fathers of children with Type 1 diabetes has received relatively little attention compared to mothers. This study examined fathers' perceived involvement in their children's diabetes care as it related to mothers' and fathers' pediatric parenting stress, depression, anxiety, marital satisfaction, and sleep, and to their children's diabetes regimen adherence and glycemic control. Eighty-two mothers and 43 fathers completed questionnaires. Multivariate linear regressions were conducted separately for mothers and fathers to determine the relationships between the perceived amount and the perceived helpfulness of father involvement in child diabetes care on parental psychosocial functioning and child diabetes control. Maternal perceptions of father helpfulness and amount of involvement in illness care were related to improved marital satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms in mothers. In fathers, perception of their own amount of involvement was related to increased pediatric parenting stress and anxiety. Better child regimen adherence was associated with maternal perceptions of father helpfulness but not the amount of their involvement, while paternal perceptions of their own helpfulness were related to poorer glycemic control. These findings suggest that fathers and mothers may react differently to their roles in childhood illness and that perceptions of their involvement may be differently associated with children's glycemic control and regimen adherence.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Disease Management*
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult