, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 270-279
Date: 01 Nov 2013

Early Adolescent Relationship Predictors of Emerging Adult Outcomes: Youth With and Without Type 1 Diabetes

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Abstract

Background

Emerging adulthood is a high-risk period for mental health problems and risk behaviors for youth generally and for physical health problems among those with type 1 diabetes.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine whether adolescents’ relationships with parents and friends predict health and risk behaviors during emerging adulthood.

Method

Youth with and without diabetes were enrolled at average age 12 and followed for 7 years. Parent and friend relationship variables, measured during adolescence, were used to predict emerging adulthood outcomes: depression, risk behavior, and, for those with diabetes, diabetes outcomes.

Results

Parent relationship quality predicted decreased depressive symptoms and, for those with diabetes, decreased alcohol use. Parent control predicted increased smoking, reduced college attendance, and, for control participants, increased depressive symptoms. For those with diabetes, parent control predicted decreased depressive symptoms and better self-care. Friend relationship variables predicted few outcomes.

Conclusions

Adolescent parent relationships remain an important influence on emerging adults’ lives.