How peer conflict profiles and socio-demographic factors influence type 1 diabetes adaptation


Objective: This study aimed to (a) validate the factor structure for a measure of peer conflict in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D); (b) determine empirical patterns of peer conflict in terms of context (friend vs. nonfriend) and content (diabetes-specific vs. general) within a broader context of socio-demographic factors; and (c) examine how these patterns and socio-demographic factors relate to adolescents' T1D adherence, quality of life, and glycemic control (HbA1c). Methods: Youth with T1D (N = 178), ages 12-18, reported demographic variables, illness duration, adherence, quality of life, and peer conflict. HbA1c was extracted from medical records. Confirmatory factor analysis validated a factor structure for the Diabetes Peer Conflict Scale (DPCS) and latent profile analysis (LPA) determined profiles of peer conflict. Results: A four-factor structure emerged for the DPCS: general friend conflict, general nonfriend conflict, T1D friend conflict, and T1D nonfriend conflict. Using these factors as indicators in LPA, four profiles were confirmed: (a) Low Overall Conflict (LOC) and (b) Moderate Overall Conflict (MOC), (c) a Nonfriend Conflict (NFC), and (d) a Friend Conflict (FC) profile. Differences were not identified between diabetes specific versus general conflict. Socio-demographic variables did not predict class membership. The LOC profile reported the highest quality of life and best glycemic control, whereas the FC profile reported the lowest adherence behaviors. Conclusions: Peer conflict uniquely contributes to diabetes adaptation above and beyond socio-demographic and illness factors.

Publication Title

Journal of Pediatric Psychology