Friend and Peer Relationships Among Youth with Type 1 Diabetes

  • Meredith Van Vleet
  • Vicki S. HelgesonEmail author


Adolescence is an important developmental period associated with greater prominence of peer relationships and poorer glycemic control among youth with type 1 diabetes. In this chapter, we summarize the literature on friend and peer support, conflict during this period, and their links to psychological well-being and diabetes outcomes. We identified 34 articles on this topic from a previous review and literature searches in PsycINFO and MEDLINE. Overall, studies revealed general friend support was linked with greater psychological well-being and (to a lesser extent) better self-care but was unrelated to glycemic control. Research focused on diabetes-specific friend support was inconclusive. General friend conflict was associated with poorer psychological well-being, but findings were mixed for diabetes outcomes. Research examining links between diabetes-specific friend conflict and psychological and diabetes outcomes was inconsistent. In sum, the literature on friend and peer relationships and their links to psychological well-being and diabetes outcomes is mixed. Future research can benefit from making finer distinctions in the conceptualization and measurement of friend and peer relationships, examining potential moderator variables, and probing mechanisms underlying links between friend and peer relationships and outcomes and by considering the broader social context (family relationships) in which such relationships are situated.


Type 1 diabetes Adolescent Teen Friend Peer Support Conflict Self-care Adherence Compliance Well-being Glycemic control 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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