Cooperation between parents in caring for diabetic children: relations to metabolic control and parents' field-dependence-independence

Olof Rydén, Per Johnsson, Lars Nevander, Sture Sjöblad, Lena Westbom

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Aspects of parental interaction were assessed in 20 families with diabetic, insulin-dependent children, using hour-long video-taped interviews, the children being in optimal (O, n = 10) or poor (P, n = 10) metabolic control and showing optimal or poor psychological adaptation. In comparison with the O-group parents, the P-group parents were less appreciative of one another, were less congruent in their attitudes to diabetes care, and appeared not to respect their childrens' independence and integrity; the mothers were discontented with the support given them by their husbands; the children assumed less responsibility for managing their diabetes and seemed less confident during the interview. The results are interpreted in light of an earlier finding that the P-group fathers are more field-dependent (FD) than their wives while the opposite is true for the O-group fathers. With reference to evidence from the cognitive style literature, we suggest that the relatively FD P-group fathers have difficulties in acting as autonomous sources of support to their wives resulting in marital discord and a delayed transition from maternal to self care in their children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Family interaction
  • Metabolic control
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Adolescent


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