Peers may influence how well type 1 diabetes is managed
(Reuters Health) - How young people with type 1 diabetes relate to their peers may have important effects on how well they manage the disease and how distressing it is for them, a small study suggests.
Peers can help teens and young adults accept their disease and follow their treatment plans, but youth who are too attuned to what their friends think of them may neglect disease management to fit in, the authors report in Diabetes Care.
“This was one of the first studies to ask adolescents and emerging adults with type 1 diabetes about their relations with peers at a certain point in time and one year later,” lead author Koen Raymaekers from the University of Leuven in Belgium told Reuters Health by email.
“We found that more general positive relations with peers at one point in time predicted less diabetes-specific distress one year later,” he said.
But, because young adults who were very oriented toward peers at the start had worse blood sugar control a year later, paying additional attention to peer relations during this time seems important, Raymaekers added.
The researchers recruited more than 400 Dutch-speaking young people in Belgium, aged 14 to 25, with type 1 diabetes. The participants answered questionnaires rating how they felt about the support they got from their peers as well as their perceptions of their parents’ responsiveness to their needs.
The study team also measured “peer orientation” - whether participants were more likely to listen to their parents or to their peers - with questions such as, “Would you ignore your diabetes management ne Continue reading