Problem-solving skills among fathers of children with type 1 diabetes : associations with parent and child outcomes and feasibility of online problem-solving skills training.
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Teasdale, Ashley E., 1992-
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Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a pediatric chronic illness that may correspond to significant parenting stress due to its lifelong course, burdensome disease management, and life-threatening complications. Although mothers of children with T1D have been studied extensively in relation to parenting stress, coping, and diabetes outcomes, there is a need to examine similar variables among fathers. Investigation of problem-solving skills among fathers of children with T1D is especially important, as these skills are considered critical in coping and diabetes management. The purpose of the present study was to examine associations among problem-solving skills, parenting stress, diabetes regimen adherence, and paternal involvement in diabetes care in a national online sample of 215 fathers of children with T1D. Self-report measures completed by fathers included a demographic and disease-related questionnaire, the Social Problem-Solving Inventory—Revised (SPSI-R), Parenting Stress Index—Fourth Edition, Short Form (PSI-4-SF), Pediatric Inventory for Parents (PIP), Dads’ Active Disease Support Scale (DADS), and Self-Care Inventory—Revised (SCI-R). To inform the relevance and feasibility of online problem-solving skills training (PSST), fathers were allowed to consent to participation in an online PSST intervention, following completion of the questionnaires. Pearson correlations were computed to assess associations among study variables. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to determine the interactive effects of problem-solving skills and paternal involvement on parenting stress and diabetes regimen adherence. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to assess differences in parenting stress, paternal involvement, and problem-solving skills between fathers who agreed or declined intervention participation. Analyses revealed that problem-solving skills were associated with less general and pediatric parenting stress and better diabetes regimen adherence. The interaction between problem-solving skills and father involvement accounted for a significant amount of variance in a general parenting stress subscale and pediatric parenting stress, and diabetes regimen adherence. While no fathers completed the online PSST intervention, fathers who consented reported more general and pediatric parenting stress and less use of problem-solving skills. These results highlight the importance of problem-solving skills for father and child outcomes in the context of T1D while implicating the potential benefit of a PSST intervention.