Informed by the family stress and family investment models, this study investigated whether income is indirectly related to adherence and glycemic control through parenting constructs among youth with type 1 diabetes (TID).
Youth and their families (n = 390) from 4 geographically dispersed pediatric endocrinology clinics in the United States were participants in a multisite clinical trial from 2006 to 2009 examining the efficacy of a clinic-integrated behavioral intervention targeting family disease management for youth with TID. Baseline data were collected from youth aged 9 to 14 years and their parents. Parents reported family income and completed a semistructured interview assessing diabetes management adherence. Parents and children reported diabetes-specific parent-child conflict. Children completed measures of collaborative parent involvement and authoritative parenting. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a biomarker of glycemic control, was analyzed centrally at a reference laboratory. The relations of income, parenting variables, regimen, adherence, and HbA1c were examined using structural equation modeling.
Lower family income was associated with greater parent-child conflict and a less authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parenting was associated with more collaborative parent involvement and less parent-child conflict, both of which were associated with greater adherence, which was associated with more optimal glycemic control (p < 0.05 all associations). Indirect effects of family income on adherence and glycemic control through parenting constructs were significant (p < 0.001).
Findings lend support for the family stress and family investment models, suggesting that lower family income may negatively impact parent-child constructs, with adverse effects on diabetes management.