Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) is one of the most demanding chronic diseases for children and their families, since controlling diabetes involves a process of co-regulation with attachment figures. However, there is insufficient evidence in middle childhood on psychological mechanisms involved that might complicate the adaptation of these children. Therefore, 106 children (N = 31 with T1D and N = 75 as matched healthy group [HG]) aged 8 to 13 were assessed using the Child Attachment Interview, the Child Behavior Checklist, and the measure of glycated hemoglobin. Results showed that insecure T1D children did not have worse diabetes control than the secure ones. However, T1D children differed from HG for higher levels of idealization to father and withdrawn/depressed problems. Moreover, T1D children with insecure attachment to mother scored significantly higher in anxious/depressed, withdrawn/depressed, attention problems, and rule-breaking behavior, while T1D children with insecure attachment to father scored significantly higher only in the withdrawn/depressed scale compared to the remaining children. Therefore, diabetes does not in itself determine a psychological vulnerability in middle childhood, but the presence of an insecure attachment, especially to the mother, worsens the psychological adaptation of T1D children. Psychological support should be provided for these young patients and their families.

Attachment representations to parents and emotional-behavioral problems: A comparison between children with type 1 diabetes mellitus and healthy children in middle childhood

Bizzi F.;Cavanna D.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) is one of the most demanding chronic diseases for children and their families, since controlling diabetes involves a process of co-regulation with attachment figures. However, there is insufficient evidence in middle childhood on psychological mechanisms involved that might complicate the adaptation of these children. Therefore, 106 children (N = 31 with T1D and N = 75 as matched healthy group [HG]) aged 8 to 13 were assessed using the Child Attachment Interview, the Child Behavior Checklist, and the measure of glycated hemoglobin. Results showed that insecure T1D children did not have worse diabetes control than the secure ones. However, T1D children differed from HG for higher levels of idealization to father and withdrawn/depressed problems. Moreover, T1D children with insecure attachment to mother scored significantly higher in anxious/depressed, withdrawn/depressed, attention problems, and rule-breaking behavior, while T1D children with insecure attachment to father scored significantly higher only in the withdrawn/depressed scale compared to the remaining children. Therefore, diabetes does not in itself determine a psychological vulnerability in middle childhood, but the presence of an insecure attachment, especially to the mother, worsens the psychological adaptation of T1D children. Psychological support should be provided for these young patients and their families.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1040839
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