Objective: To understand the association between life stress, postpartum depression (PD), maternal perception of her child's risk for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and a mother's anxiety about her child's T1D risk in mothers of genetically at risk children in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study. Methods: A short form of the state component (SAI) of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, negative life events (LE), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and one question about the child's risk of developing T1D risk perceptions (RP) were given to mothers at the 6-month TEDDY clinic visit. The relationship between the four measures was modeled using multiple regressions. Results: Controlling for sociodemographic factors, significant country differences in SAI, LE, EPDS, and RP emerged. LE - particularly interpersonal LE - had a strong association to maternal anxiety about the baby's risk of diabetes. Both evidence of PD and accurate risk perceptions (RPs) about the child's T1D risk were associated with increased maternal anxiety about the child's T1D risk. Conclusion: Heightened maternal anxiety in response to the news that a child is at increased risk for T1D is common. Mothers who have experienced recent negative LE, who experience PD and who accurately understand their child's risk may be particularly vulnerable to high levels of anxiety. The findings reported here need to be confirmed in future prospective studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety about baby's diabetes risk
  • Negative life events
  • Postpartum depression
  • Risk perception
  • Type 1 diabetes


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