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Mentalizing in mothers and children with type 1 diabetes

Costa-Cordella, S; Luyten, P; Cohen, D; Mena, F; Fonagy, P; (2020) Mentalizing in mothers and children with type 1 diabetes. Development and Psychopathology 10.1017/S0954579419001706. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Studies suggest that the relationship between psychosocial well-being and type 1 diabetes (T1D) is bidirectional, with T1D typically having a negative influence on psychological functioning, which in turn negatively affects the course of T1D. Here, we investigate the potential role of the capacity for mentalizing, or reflective functioning, in children and their mothers in diabetes control. We tested differences in mentalizing as assessed by the Reflective Functioning Scale in two groups of mother–son dyads with good (GDC) versus poor (PDC) diabetes control. Fifty-five boys (8–12 years old) and their mothers were recruited from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in Santiago, Chile. The mothers were interviewed with the Parental Development Interview and the children with the Child Attachment Interview, and both were scored for reflective functioning by using the Reflective Functioning Scale. Self-report measures of stress and diabetes outcomes were completed by the mothers and children, and levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were assessed as an index of diabetes control. The results showed that both maternal and child reflective functioning were higher in the GDC than the PDC group and were negatively correlated with HbA1c in the total sample. Our findings suggest an important role for mentalizing in diabetes outcomes, but further prospective research is needed.

Type: Article
Title: Mentalizing in mothers and children with type 1 diabetes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0954579419001706
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579419001706
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086533
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