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Understanding developmental psychopathology in Type 1 diabetes: attachment, mentalization and diabetes distress

Garrett, C; Ismail, K; Fonagy, P; (2021) Understanding developmental psychopathology in Type 1 diabetes: attachment, mentalization and diabetes distress. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10.1177/1359104521994640. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines the combined roles of attachment, mentalization and diabetes distress in the psychological development of young people with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). We use these ideas to unify the evidence for psychological variables affecting young people and their families and suggest how diabetes distress and mentalization might be part of the pathways for development of psychiatric diagnoses. Attachment theory’s central hypothesis is that a secure relationship with a care-giver in the early life of a child is essential to normal emotional and relational development, whilst diabetes distress is a well recognised phenomena of burden experienced by both child and parent in relation to the condition. We extend the ideas of attachment, into the psychological adaptation processes for young people at the time of diagnosis of T1D with emphasis on the function of the parent/caregiver in mentalizing the experience of the child. We also connect our current understanding of diabetes distress to the associated increased risk for disorders of eating and personality in T1D. Using principles learnt in other areas of psychotherapeutic practice we end by suggesting interventions that could impact mental health and diabetes outcomes using the mentalization model.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding developmental psychopathology in Type 1 diabetes: attachment, mentalization and diabetes distress
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1359104521994640
Publisher version: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/ccp
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.
Keywords: Attachment theory, Personality, Eating disorder, Health anxiety, Developmental psychology
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/10120803
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