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Keywords:

  • stress;
  • T1DM;
  • youth

Objective

Studies indicate general psychological stress plays a role in the glycemic control of individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Disease-specific rather than general measures may be more closely related to measures of health outcomes. Therefore, measurement of diabetes-related stress is needed to advance knowledge of significant relationships between stress and glycemic control. The objective of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a measure of diabetes-related stress for youth with T1DM.

Research design and methods

A 65-item diabetes stress questionnaire for youths (DSQY) was previously developed for use with older children and adolescents. The DSQY was completed by 417 youths with T1DM and the results were analyzed to determine the factor structure and psychometric properties of the questionnaire, as well as relationships of diabetes stress with demographic and clinical variables.

Results

A factor analysis of the DSQY yielded an eight-factor solution with acceptable internal consistencies. Significant relationships were observed between glycemic control and stress related to parents and dietary issues. While age and socioeconomic status were unrelated with DSQY scores, higher stress was associated with longer diabetes duration, female gender, and racial/ethnic minority status.

Conclusions

The DSQY is a reliable and valid measure for assessment of diabetes-specific stress in youths with T1DM.