• parenting style;
  • quality of life;
  • responsiveness;
  • type 1 diabetes


Background  Improved quality of life is an important treatment goal for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. While previous research supports a relationship between family environment and quality of life, little research has addressed the relationship of parenting style constructs to quality of life in children with chronic disease. The present investigation assesses the relationship of parent responsiveness and demandingness with diabetes-related quality of life among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Methods  Baseline and 12-month follow-up self-report assessments were collected on a sample of 81 children with type 1 diabetes participating in an efficacy trial of a behavioural intervention to enhance adherence. The sample had a mean age of 13.3 years (SD = 1.7) and duration of diabetes of 7.7 years (SD = 3.7). Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship of parent responsiveness and demandingness to diabetes-related quality of life at each time point.

Results  After adjusting for demographic and diabetes characteristics, as well as diabetes-specific parent–child behaviours, parent responsiveness was significantly associated with baseline diabetes-related quality of life (β = 0.23; P = 0.04). This relationship was sustained at 12-month follow-up (β = 0.22; P = 0.04) after adjusting for baseline quality of life and treatment group assignment, suggesting that parent responsiveness is associated with improved quality of life.

Conclusions  Findings indicate the importance of a supportive and emotionally warm parenting style in promoting improved quality of life for children with type 1 diabetes. Appropriate parenting skills should be an element of diabetes family management health care.