Knowledge is limited about parents' decision making regarding adolescents' assumption of diabetes management. This study's purpose was to identify parents' perceived benefits and barriers about this process. We interviewed 17 parents of adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Questions were adapted from Janis and Mann's (1977) decisional balance sheet. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Descriptive expressions were identified and categories inductively generated. Inter-rater agreement was initially 85% and was 100% after discussion of disagreements. Parents' perceived benefits for themselves were relief from burden and knowledge and confidence and/or pride in adolescents' abilities. Their perceived benefits for their sons and daughters were also twofold: knowledge and/or confidence in abilities and freedom, independence, and/or control. Parents perceived barriers for themselves were loss of control, authority, and supervision, dealing with consequences, and expression of lack of barriers. Their perceived barriers for their sons and daughters were burden of responsibility and also lack of barriers. Understanding parents' perceived benefits and barriers would be beneficial to health care professionals when working with parents, because decision making related to the transfer of diabetes management to their adolescent sons and daughters is crucial to the success of its management.
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