Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 268–274 | Cite as

Explaining the family conflict-glycemic control link through psychological variables in adolescents with type 1 diabetes

  • Michele Herzer
  • Anthony Vesco
  • Lisa M. Ingerski
  • Lawrence M. Dolan
  • Korey K. HoodEmail author


To examine whether individual psychological variables mediate the family conflict-glycemic control relationship. During three study visits spanning 9 months, 147 adolescents with type 1 diabetes completed questionnaires measuring anxiety and depressive symptoms, and diabetes-specific worry. Caregivers similarly completed a measure of diabetes-specific family conflict. Blood glucose monitoring frequency and glycemic control were also obtained during study visits. Separate mediation analyses revealed that anxiety was the only individual psychological variable that mediated the caregiver-reported family conflict-glycemic control link. Anxiety accounted for 20% of the family conflict-glycemic control link, compared to 8.5% for depression and 6% for diabetes-specific worry. Results suggest that anxiety symptoms may be promoted in a family environment characterized by conflict and these symptoms have detrimental effects on glycemic control. Continued monitoring of family functioning and adolescents’ anxiety symptoms, as well as refinement of interventions, is needed to promote positive health outcomes.


Adolescents Family conflict Glycemic control Anxiety Depression 



We thank the study participants for generously giving of their time. This research is supported by a career development grant to Korey K. Hood (K23 DK073340).

Conflict of interest

Nothing to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Herzer
    • 1
  • Anthony Vesco
    • 1
  • Lisa M. Ingerski
    • 1
  • Lawrence M. Dolan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Korey K. Hood
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for the Promotion of Treatment Adherence and Self-Management, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical PsychologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Diabetes Center, Division of EndocrinologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

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