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The role of parental support for emerging adults with type 1 diabetes: A scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Clea Bruun Johansen
  • Mette Juel Rothmann
  • Anette Andersen
  • Henning Beck-Nielsen
  • Frans Pouwer
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BACKGROUND: Emerging adults with type 1 diabetes often have poor diabetes self-care and pose a considerable therapeutic challenge. They simultaneously handle a life phase characterized by instability, identity exploration, and transitions and manage a chronic illness that demands structure, self-discipline, and repeated health care contacts. Relation to parents is often ambivalent but typically remains the most stable social support, so parental support could potentially be helpful for diabetes self-care and wellbeing.

METHOD: This scoping review aimed to identify, summarize and analyze empirical studies (for instance interview studies, questionnaire studies and intervention studies) exploring parental support for emerging adults with type 1 diabetes. Studies were identified in PsycInfo, PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Data were extracted by one author and checked by another. Study results were synthesized by a convergent mixed methods approach and qualitative thematic analysis.

RESULTS: We included 26 studies (2829 participants), 16 interview studies, 10 questionnaire studies, and no intervention studies. Five overarching themes were identified: self-care and glycemic control, diabetes-related emotional wellbeing, support characteristics, ambivalence and harms, and core support providers. Parents tended to contribute positively to diabetes self-care, glycemic control, and psychological wellbeing. However, emerging adults did not want to be too dependent on their parents and family, and family could also act unsupportively; when absent, disinterested in diabetes or controlling.

CONCLUSION: This review underlines that parental support still plays a role for diabetes self-care and wellbeing in emerging adults with type 1 diabetes. Age-appropriate parental support therefore seems a promising path to investigate further.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)995-1030
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • diabetes mellitus, parents, scoping review, social support, type 1, young adult

ID: 61380921