Benefit finding, affective reactions to diabetes stress, and diabetes management among early adolescents.
ABSTRACT To examine whether benefit finding was associated with better adjustment among adolescents with diabetes by buffering negative affective reactions to diabetes stress and by promoting positive affective reactions.
Early adolescents aged 10-14 with Type 1 diabetes (n = 252) described recent diabetes stressors, affective reactions, and perceived coping effectiveness. They also completed measures of benefit finding, depressive symptoms, and adherence. Metabolic control (i.e., HbA1c) was obtained from medical records.
The main outcome measures were perceived coping effectiveness, depressive symptoms, adherence, and HbA1c.
Benefit finding was associated with lower depressive symptoms, higher perceived coping effectiveness and better adherence, and with higher positive as well as negative affective reactions to diabetes stress. Benefit finding interacted with negative affective reactions to predict depressive symptoms and HbA1c. Negative affective reactions to stress were associated with poorer adjustment among those with low benefit finding, but were unrelated or more weakly related to poor adjustment among those with high benefit finding. Positive affective reactions did not mediate associations between benefit finding and any outcome.
Consistent with a stress-buffering process, benefit finding may be a resource that buffers the disruptive aspects of negative affective reactions to stress for adolescents' diabetes management.
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