Psycho-behavioral changes in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus



Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is the most common type of diabetes in children. This study aimed to investigate psycho-behavioral changes in Chinese children with T1DM and to provide some advices for nurses, parents and other persons.


Forty-five patients with T1DM (26 boys and 19 girls with a mean age of 10.40±3.01 years) were enrolled. According to the glycosylated hemoglobin levels recommended by the American Diabetes Association, the patients were subdivided into a well-controlled group and a poorly-controlled group. Fifty-three healthy children served as a control group. Psycho-behavioral changes were investigated by using Achenbach’s Child Behavior Check List.


Compared with the control group, the patients with T1DM had significantly higher mean scores for withdrawal, anxiety/depression, attention problems, delinquent behavior, aggressive behavior, externalizing problems, and internalizing problems (P<0.017). Moreover, the mean scores for somatic complaints in the poorly-controlled subgroup were significantly higher than those in the well-controlled subgroup (t=3.582, P=0.001). Compared with the control group, the well-controlled subgroup had higher scores for withdrawal, anxiety/depression, and internalizing problems (P<0.017). But the poorly-controlled subgroup had higher scores for withdrawal, somatic complaint, anxiety/depression, delinquent behavior, aggressive behavior, externalizing and internalizing problems (P<0.017).


Children with T1DM may have some psycho-behavioral problems. Timely nursing interventions must be conducted to solve these problems.

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Correspondence to Shuo-Hui Chen.

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Zheng, XP., Chen, SH. Psycho-behavioral changes in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus. World J Pediatr 9, 261–265 (2013).

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Key words

  • behavior
  • Child Behavior Check List
  • psychology
  • type 1 diabetes mellitus