On the Money: Parental Perspectives About Finances and Type 1 Diabetes in Youth

Sahar S. Eshtehardi, Barbara J. Anderson, Viena T. Cao, Brett M. McKinney, Deborah I. Thompson, David G. Marrero, Marisa E. Hilliard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Given the costs of diabetes care, finances may be a source of stress for parents of youth with type 1 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to characterize the perspectives of parents of youth with type 1 diabetes about diabetes-related expenses and any potential relationship with quality of life. Methods: Parents (n = 23, 96% mothers) of youth with type 1 diabetes (aged 5–17 years; 35% female, mean HbA1c = 8.7%) each completed a semistructured qualitative interview. Verbatim transcripts were coded using thematic analysis to derive central themes related to diabetes-related finances. Results: Two primary themes emerged: (a) sacrifices and hardships—Parents described making decisions about household finances to accommodate diabetes-related expenses and employment choices based on salary and benefits; many described prioritizing spending for diabetes supplies, healthy foods, and medical bills and forgoing spending related to family vacations, recreation, and personal needs; and (b) gratitude—Parents discussed feeling thankful for employment and insurance coverage, which help reduce diabetes-related financial stressors or hardships. Conclusions: Care of families of youth with type 1 diabetes should consider parents’ financial experiences and effects on family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-350
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost of illness
  • Parents
  • Pediatrics
  • Qualitative research
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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