Psychological adjustment to Type 2 diabetes and relationship quality


Martin Dempster, School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK. E-mail:


Diabet. Med. 28, 487–492 (2011)


Aims  To examine the associations between psychological adjustment to Type 2 diabetes and the reported quality and type of relationships with partners.

Methods  All participants (n = 88) completed a number of questionnaires, including two measures of relationship quality: the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships Scale, the Diabetes Quality of Life Scale and the ATT-19 (which assesses personal integration of diabetes). Additionally, HbA1c levels were obtained from medical notes.

Results  Measures of relationship quality significantly contributed to the explanation of two outcomes: personal integration of diabetes and satisfaction with the burden of self-management behaviours. More specifically, the findings demonstrate that a specific aspect of relationship quality—intimacy in recreational activities—is positively associated with the outcomes mentioned above.

Conclusions  People with Type 2 diabetes who are not taking insulin, who share engagement in physical activities with their partner are more likely to be psychologically well-adjusted to their diagnosis of diabetes.