Fathers' reflections on parenting young children with type 1 diabetes
Graduate School of Nursing
Endocrine System Diseases | Maternal and Child Health | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
PURPOSE: To describe fathers' experiences in parenting and managing the care of their young children with type 1 diabetes.
DESIGN AND METHODS: This qualitative descriptive study used 16 open-ended, in-depth interviews with 14 purposively selected, involved, educated, stably employed fathers of 15 children younger than 10 years old. The fathers were asked to describe their perspective of the initial diagnosis, how they learned diabetes care, their day-to-day care and parenting experiences, and what strategies they used in the day-to-day management. Data were managed using NVivo software and analyzed using principles of naturalistic inquiry and qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: The overarching theme was "From sadness to action," with six categories emerging: (1) "shock and awe" (after diagnosis), (2) quick response to the diagnosis and learning diabetes care: "suck it up and do it," (3) "staying in the loop" (practicing the skills, tasks, and responsibilities of diabetes management), (4) "partnerships in care" (tag teaming or co-parenting), (5) active participation (being actively involved in their children's day-to-day care and benefiting from participating in this care), and (6) mantra for living with diabetes: child first, diabetes second.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Nurses working with children with diabetes can use the results of this study to better understand the role of fathers in the care of these children. Fathers underscored the importance of practicing diabetes care-related tasks to improve their confidence when caring for children alone. Their practical and philosophical strategies for managing their children's chronic illness have recently been incorporated into a parent mentor intervention for children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Father-child relations, Parenting, Child, Diabetes mellitus, Type 1
MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2006 Jan-Feb;31(1):24-31.
MCN. The American journal of maternal child nursing
Sullivan-Bolyai SL, Rosenberg R, Bayard M. (2006). Fathers' reflections on parenting young children with type 1 diabetes. Graduate School of Nursing Publications and Presentations. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gsn_pp/67