Home environment and family life play a big role in children’s health and managing type 1 diabetes.
More about children with type 1 diabetes:
Overall, there are a lot of children in the United States with type 1 diabetes who have a hard time controlling their blood sugar level. In fact, 56% of children with type 1 diabetes and over 70% of teens with type 1 diabetes have levels that are higher than the target healthy range recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Why is it so hard for children to achieve good blood sugar levels? To answer this question, this study looked at the reasons why children are struggling to get their blood sugar in a healthy range. Some factors that make it difficult include being from a low-income family, being of an ethnic minority, living in a single parent household, lower parental involvement in diabetes care, and not having a regular diabetes doctor. Another important factor is family conflict.
As we know, home environment and family life greatly influence our overall health. Specifically for children with type 1 diabetes, this study found that family arguments related to managing diabetes can negatively impact blood sugar level. In families that had more parent-child disagreements and fights, those children were not able to control their blood sugar level as well as other families without such conflict. In addition, conflict within the family is linked to higher A1c levels, worse quality of life, and higher risk for depression and anxiety.
For Latinos, programs and interventions that work to reduce family conflict are important because it could make a big difference in children’s overall health. For example, a program called “Behavioral Family Systems for Diabetes” was very successful in lowering children’s A1c levels as a result of their training sessions with children and their families focused on communication, problem-solving, changing attitudes/viewpoints, and the overall family structure as well.
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