Family structure, family social support behaviors, adherence to medical regimen, and metabolic control in juvenile diabetics
Robertson, John Scott
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One hundred and sixty-eight diabetic children and their parents were surveyed to explore correlations between several variables relevant to the management of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). General family environment (measured by a 50 item version of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale, FACES-R), disease specific social support behaviors (measured by a 60-item Social Support Behavior Questionnaire, SSBQ), regimen adherence (measured by three 1-day logs of 13 specific variables), and metabolic control (measured by HbAl) were assessed. No significant correlations (p<.01) was found between social support behaviors and adherence to the IDDM regimen. Agreement among family members as to either the desirability or frequency of social support behaviors was non-significantly (p<.01) correlated with children's adherence to the IDDM. Neither parents' nor children’s general family environment scores were significantly correlated (p<.01) with either regimen adherence or metabolic control in children. Adherence variables, even when factorially reduced, were not significantly (p<.01) correlated with metabolic control. Post hoc analyses were performed to explore possible bases for non-significant findings, with results suggesting that weak statistical reliability, factorial instability, and possible measurement and reporting errors may have contributed to findings. The implications of the psychometric and sampling weakness were discussed with recommendations for future research.