Children with Diabetes Compared to Peers: Depressed? Distressed?

A Meta-Analytic Review

Published in: Annals of Behavioral Medicine, v. 42, no. 1, Aug. 2011, p. 29-41

Posted on RAND.org on March 28, 2011

by Kerry Reynolds, Vicki S. Helgeson

Read More

Access further information on this document at Annals of Behavioral Medicine

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: It is not clear from the literature whether children with diabetes have more psychological difficulties than their peers. PURPOSE: This study aims to use meta-analysis to determine if children with diabetes differ from children without a chronic illness in a variety of domains reflecting psychological well-being. METHOD: A meta-analysis was undertaken of 22 studies that compared children with diabetes to a comparison group. Outcomes included depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, and related constructs. RESULTS: Children with diabetes were more likely than comparison groups to experience a variety of psychological difficulties. However, these effects were small to medium in magnitude and were typically smaller among more recent studies and studies with well-matched comparison groups. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis suggests that children with diabetes are at slightly elevated risk for psychological difficulties. Future work will need to help identify children at the highest risk, and to identify factors associated with resilience.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.