Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 270–279 | Cite as

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

  • Vicki S. Helgeson
  • Dianne K. Palladino
  • Kerry A. Reynolds
  • Dorothy Becker
  • Oscar Escobar
  • Linda Siminerio
Original Article



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.


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


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.


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.


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


Emerging adulthood Parent relationships Diabetes Risk and resistance framework 



This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant R01 DK60586. Portions of these data were presented at the March 2013 Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. We appreciate the support of the project manager, Pamela Snyder, and the research assistants, Abigail Vaughn and Jamie Vance, for their assistance on this project.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicki S. Helgeson
    • 1
    • 5
  • Dianne K. Palladino
    • 1
  • Kerry A. Reynolds
    • 2
  • Dorothy Becker
    • 3
  • Oscar Escobar
    • 3
  • Linda Siminerio
    • 4
  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.The Rand CorporationSanta MonicaUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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