Early life stress and disease among offspring and siblings of individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Annette M. La Greca, Karen J. Bearman, Alan Delamater, Anna Maria Patino, Marc Blumberg, Jennifer Marks, Suzanne B. Johnson, Desmond Shatz, Barbara Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Major life events, recent life stressors, and childhood diseases were examined among children and adolescents who were offspring, siblings, or other relatives of persons with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). All youth were recruited as part of a multi-site nationwide trial on the prevention of type 1 DM; parents of 347 children (4 to 18 yr) completed measures that asked about children's life events, recent stressors, and childhood illnesses. Analyses compared age groups (young child, preadolescent, adolescent) and relative type (offspring, sibling, other relative). Findings revealed offspring and siblings did not differ from "other relatives" in terms of life events, recent life stress, and disease/illness variables. However, siblings were reported to have fewer major life events and fewer life stressors in the past 12 months than offspring; siblings also had fewer infectious diseases during the first two years of life compared to offspring. Few age-related differences were found. Overall, results suggest that offspring and siblings of persons with type 1 DM are not at a disadvantage in terms of early life stress or disease in comparison to youth who have other family members with diabetes. However, siblings may have some advantages relative to children who are offspring. The mechanisms underlying these relationships require further elucidation and study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-668
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jun 7 2001


  • Disease
  • Offspring
  • Siblings
  • Stress
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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