Parental monitoring for type 1 diabetes in genetically at-risk young children: The TEDDY study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: We examined parental diabetes monitoring behaviors in a cohort of children at increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. We hypothesized that being informed of a positive islet autoantibody (IA) would increase monitoring behaviors.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study follows 8676 children with high-risk human leucocyte antigen-DQ genotypes from birth to age 15, including general population (GP) children and those with a first-degree relative (FDR) with diabetes. Data on parental monitoring behaviors were solicited yearly. Serum samples were tested for IA and parents were informed of child results. We examined parental monitoring behaviors during the first 7 years of TEDDY.

RESULTS: In IA- children, the most common monitoring behavior was participating in TEDDY study tasks; up to 49.8% and 44.2% of mothers and fathers, respectively, reported this. Among FDRs, 7%-10% reported watching for diabetes symptoms and 7%-9% reported monitoring the child's glucose, for mothers and fathers, respectively. After IA+ notification, all monitoring behaviors significantly increased in GP parents; only glucose monitoring increased in FDR parents and these behaviors continued for up to 4 years. FDR status, accurate diabetes risk perception, and anxiety were associated with glucose monitoring in IA+ and IA- cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS: Many parents view TEDDY participation as a way to monitor for type 1 diabetes, a benefit of enrollment in a longitudinal study with no prevention offered. IA+ notification increases short- and long-term monitoring behaviors. For IA- and IA+ children, FDR parents engage in glucose monitoring, even when not instructed to do so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-728
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety/etiology
  • Autoantibodies/analysis
  • Blood Glucose/analysis
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/blood
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease/psychology
  • HLA-DQ Antigens/genetics
  • Health Behavior/physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic/methods
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting/psychology
  • Parents/psychology
  • Patient Participation
  • Risk Factors

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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