Benefit Finding, Affective Reactions to Diabetes Stress, and Diabetes Management Among Early Adolescents

Vincent Tran, Deborah J. Wiebe, Katherine T. Fortenberry, Jorie M. Butler, Cynthia A. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: 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. Design: 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. Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were perceived coping effectiveness, depressive symptoms, adherence, and HbA1c. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Adolescence
  • Benefit finding
  • Diabetes
  • Positive and negative affect
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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