Attachment and emotional awareness in children with type 1 diabetes

Costa Cordella, Stefanella; Jaramillo, Karina; Mena, Francisca; Giraudo, Franco; Luyten, Patrick


The attachment strategies children adopt towards their caregivers allow them to deal with stress and form the basis for affect regulation. Stress is a known risk factor for poor metabolic control. Its impact can be direct, through the influence of stress hormones on glucose homeostasis, or indirect, by making the patient less likely to adhere to treatment. Emotional awareness is the way in which individuals recognize and create representations of their emotions, and how they experience emotions at a bodily and mental level. The capacity to be aware of bodily signals can help the individual to distinguish between different glycemic states. Both attachment and emotional awareness allow the subject to develop proper emotional regulation, which is fundamental to the achievement of mental health, and may also play a role in dia- betes management and metabolic control. Objectives: This study aimed to understand the relationship between attachment strategies of children with type 1 diabetes, their emo- tional awareness and metabolic control. Method: 97 children (8-12 years old) answered standardized ques- tionnaires aimed to assess levels of attachment security and emo- tional awareness. To gauge metabolic control, the results of HbA1c exams were analysed. Results: A significant association was found between attachment strategies and poor metabolic control among boys in the participant group, with attachment security accounting for 11.1% of metabolic control variability (p=.02). A noticeable link was found between emo- tional awareness and metabolic control among girls. Overall, emo- tional awareness had no moderating effect on the relationship between attachment and metabolic control. Conclusion: The regulation of emotions and stress associated with attachment strategies and emotional awareness may have an impor- tant role in several dimensions of the condition management. Consid- ering these psychosocial factors may help to develop more targeted and effective interventions.

Más información

Editorial: Wiley
Fecha de publicación: 2017
Año de Inicio/Término: Octubre 2017
Página de inicio: 90
Página final: 90