Better glycemic control achieved among diabetics with authoritative parents, study finds

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Children with Type 1 diabetes may achieve better blood-sugar control if their parents are more authoritative with them, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Israel Diabetes Center of Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel and published in the August issue of the journal Diabetes Care, found what they called an association between more authoritative parenting by fathers and better glycemic control in children, while a sense of hopelessness in fathers and mothers was associated with worse glycemic control and adherence. The study enrolled parents and children ages 11 years to 18 years.

More authoritativeness among fathers, but not mothers, was associated with better treatment adherence and glycemic controls, while children with more permissive mothers had worse adherence. Among boys, higher authoritarianism among mothers also was associated with less adherence.

“The findings may help healthcare providers and parents in determining appropriate parental involvement in the daily management of children's and adolescents’ diabetes needs,” lead researcher Joseph Meyerovitch said. “The association between paternal level of authoritativeness and diabetes control measures highlights the importance of fathers’ involvement in children’s diabetes management. Unfortunately, our clinical experience along with empirical evidence suggests that when compared with mothers, fathers tend to take a too-small role in their child’s diabetes management.”

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