AIM: To compare levels of paediatric parenting stress in the fathers and mothers of young children with Type 1 diabetes and study the variation in this stress over time.
METHODS: One hundred and twelve parents (56 mothers and 56 fathers) of young children (0-7 years) with Type 1 diabetes participated in this study. They completed the Pediatric Inventory for Parents to assess paediatric parenting stress (frequency and difficulty scores on the Communication, Emotional Distress, Medical Care and Role Functioning subscales and Total Score); 44 mothers (79%) and 31 fathers (55%) completed the questionnaire again, 1 year later. Independent and paired sample t-tests were used to examine the differences between fathers and mothers and the changes over time. Cohen's d effect sizes were also calculated.
RESULTS: Mothers scored significantly higher than fathers on the stress subscales for Communication frequency and difficulty, Emotional Distress frequency and difficulty, Medical Care frequency and Total Score frequency and difficulty (d ranged from -0.44 to -0.56). Furthermore, fathers reported a decrease in Medical Care frequency (d = 0.10) and an increase in Emotional Distress difficulty (d = -0.32) and Total Score difficulty (d = -0.29), whereas mothers reported a decrease in Emotional Distress frequency, Medical Care frequency and Total Score frequency (d ranged from 0.31 to 0.66) over a 1-year period.
CONCLUSIONS: These results show that within families with a young child with Type 1 diabetes, the burden of care increases in fathers and decreases in mothers, suggesting that fathers assume more responsibility for care of their child with Type 1 diabetes as the child grows. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.