Relationships and Health Among Emerging Adults with and Without Type 1 Diabetes

Published in: Health Psychology, v. 33, no. 10, Oct. 2014, p. 1125-1133

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 2014

by Vicki S. Helgeson, Dianna K. Palladino, Kerry Reynolds, Dorothy J. Becker, Oscar Escobar, Linda M. Siminerio

Read More

Access further information on this document at Health Psychology

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

OBJECTIVE: The study's goal was to examine the impact of parent and peer relationships on health behaviors and psychological well-being of those with and without Type 1 diabetes over the transition to emerging adulthood. Emerging adulthood is an understudied developmental period and a high-risk period—especially for those with Type 1 diabetes. METHOD: Youth with (n = 117) and without Type 1 diabetes (n = 122) completed questionnaires during their senior year of high school and 1 year later. Measures included supportive and problematic aspects of parent and peer relationships, health behaviors, psychological well-being, and, for those with diabetes, self-care behavior and glycemic control. RESULTS: Prospective multiple and logistic regression analysis revealed that friend conflict was a more potent predictor than friend support of changes in health behaviors and psychological well-being. Parent support was associated with positive changes in psychological well-being and decreases in smoking, whereas parent control was related to increases in smoking and depressive symptoms. There was some evidence of cross-domain buffering such that supportive relationships in one domain buffered adverse effects of problematic relationships in the other domain on health outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: This longitudinal study showed that parent relationships remain an important influence on, and peer relationships continue to influence, the health behaviors and psychological well-being of emerging adults with and without Type 1 diabetes. Parent relationships also have the potential to buffer the adverse effects of difficulties with peers.

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.