Background: With the rising incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) among young children, it is important to understand factors related to management and outcomes in this population. Parental fear of hypoglycemia (FOH) has been examined in relation to children's glycemic control, but findings have been inconsistent. Adherence has been offered as a potential mechanism, but this has not been examined empirically with this population. This study aimed to elucidate the relations among parental FOH, adherence, and glycemic control in young children with T1D. Methods: Parents of children diagnosed with T1D before age 6 (n = 143) completed self-report measures of anxiety, FOH, and adherence. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was obtained via medical records or dried blood spots. Polynomial regressions were conducted to assess the fit of quadratic relations between parental FOH and HbA1c, and between adherence and HbA1c, controlling for parental anxiety. Results: The model predicting HbA1c from parental FOH was not significant, F(3,138) = 2.668, p > .05. The model for adherence was significant, F(3,138) = 2.916, p < .05; however, the relation was in the opposite direction of that hypothesized. Exploratory analysis was conducted to assess the fit of a quadratic relation between low parental FOH and HbA1c. Polynomial regression revealed a model that was significant, F(3,66) = 2.961, p < .05, that was in the direction of that hypothesized, with an R2 of .119. Conclusions: Although the hypothesized relations between parental FOH, adherence, and glycemic control were not supported, preliminary support for nonlinear relations among these variables was demonstrated. Future research should continue to investigate the level of parental FOH that is associated with optimal management and outcomes for young children with T1D, and determine possible mechanisms of this relation.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Scheurich, Jennifer, "Parental Fear of Hypoglycemia, Adherence, and Glycemic Control in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 557.