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Emotional and Behavioral Problems and Glycemic Control in Adolescents with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Woo Jin Kim, Jae Hong Park and Jae Ho Yoo

Objective: This study investigated the emotional and behavioral problems of adolescents with diabetes. We also compared the emotional and behavioral problems according to the type of diabetes and glycemic control.

Methods: Sixty-five adolescents with diabetes (type 1 diabetes; n=51, type 2 diabetes; n=14) and 83 healthy controls participated in this study. Glycemic control was assessed based on the mean HbA1c level, and the patient participants were divided into the following HbA1c groups: good (HbA1c<7.5%, n=17) and poor (HbA1c ≥ 7.5%, n=48). Emotional and behavioral problems were evaluated using the Korean version of the Youth Self-Report (YSR).

Results: The YSR scores of the adolescents with diabetes were significantly higher than those of the healthy controls in terms of total problems, internalizing problems, externalizing problems, thought problems, rule-breaking behavior, aggressive behavior, and lower in terms of academic performance. The adolescents with type 2 diabetes had significantly more problems than those with type 1 diabetes; specifically, the adolescents with type 2 diabetes had more total problems, internalizing problems, anxious/depressed, social problems. No significant differences were found in the YSR scores between the good and poor HbA1c group.

Conclusion: This study revealed that the adolescents with diabetes had more emotional and behavioral problems than did the healthy adolescents. The relationships among type of diabetes, glycemic control, and psychological problems might require further investigation.