Parental involvement, parenting style, and diet among youth with type 1 diabetes
Healthy dietary practices are crucial to the management of type 1 diabetes (T1D), yet quality of diet deteriorates during adolescence with teenagers exhibiting the poorest dietary adherence to the diabetes regimen of all age groups (Johnson, 1992). Continued parental involvement, which has been found to promote adherence to the diabetes regimen, may also support healthful dietary practices in adolescents with T1D. The current study investigated the effect of parental monitoring of meals and snacks on the quality of diet and BMI of adolescents with T1D. Data from baseline assessments from an ongoing longitudinal randomized controlled trial promoting adherence among adolescents with T1D were analyzed. Two-hundred thirteen adolescents (105 females) with T1D and one parent participated. Parental monitoring and dietary intake were assessed through parent and child interviews, and parenting style was assessed through child report. Demographic and medical data were also collected. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses that quality of diet would mediate the relationship between parental monitoring and BMI and that parenting style would moderate these relationships. Results indicated that more frequent parental monitoring was associated with a lower BMI. However, the mediation hypothesis was not supported; parental monitoring was not associated with quality of diet. Furthermore, the dietary items seemed to measure quality of diet differently for boys and girls, so the models were tested separately by gender. Results indicated that parental monitoring was related to caloric intake for girls. The moderation hypothesis could not be tested because parenting style was not measured reliably in this sample. Implications for the measurement of dietary intake in adolescents are discussed. The importance of parental involvement in the dietary practices and BMI of youth with T1D is also explored.
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