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
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.