Maternal Expressed Emotion and Metabolic Control of Children and Adolescents with Diabetes mellitusLiakopoulou M.a · Alifieraki T.a · Katideniou A.a · Peppa M.b · Maniati M.b · Tzikas D.a · Hibbs E.D.c · Dacou-Voutetakis C.a
aChild Psychiatry and bChild Endocrinology Departments, Athens University Medical School, Aghia Sophia Children’s Hospital, Athens, Greece; cChild and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md., USA
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Background: The objectives of this study of children and adolescents with diabetes were to: (1) examine whether maternal expressed emotion (EE), in the form of critical comments (CC), hostility and emotional overinvolvement (EOI), is related to metabolic control; (2) determine if CC and EOI are separately related to poor metabolic control, and (3) ascertain whether high EE is related to psychopathology in these children. Methods: The Present Episode version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (Kiddie-SADS-P/K-SADS-P) interview was administered to 55 children and adolescents with diabetes and the parental EE instrument, the 5-min speech sample, to 55 mothers. The same instruments were utilized with the 54 controls and their mothers. Glycosylated hemoglobin A1 values were used as a measure of metabolic control. Results: More than half of the children with diabetes (58.2%) had mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression as compared to 9.3% of the controls. High EE was exhibited by 70.9% of the index group mothers in contrast to only 29.6% of the control group mothers. High maternal EE was not related to the psychopathology of children with diabetes. High maternal EE and in particular its EOI component and excessive detail (a subcategory of EOI) were related to poor metabolic control of the index children. Conclusions: Maternal EE is related to metabolic control in childhood diabetes; maternal EOI in particular is related to poor metabolic control. Mental health professionals should work with mothers of children with diabetes in an effort to modify such attitudes and emotions.
© 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel
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