Mental, emotional, and social problems among school children with asthma

Joanne E. Collins, Tiffany Gill, Catherine R. Chittleborough, A. James Martin, Anne W. Taylor, Helen Winefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To use representative population chronic disease and risk factor data to investigate the relationship between asthma and social factors in school-age children. Methods: Representative cross-sectional data for children 5 to 15 years of age were collected from 2002 to June 2007 (n = 4,611) in the South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System (SAMSS) using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI). Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to investigate the variables that were associated with asthma among children. Results: The overall prevalence of self-reported asthma among children 5 to 15 years of age was 18.6% (95% CI = 17.5-19.8). Children with asthma were more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem, have been unhappy at school, have been absent from school in the last month, have fair or poor overall health and well-being, have ongoing pain or chronic illness, and less likely to have a group of friends to play with. Asthma was also more prevalent among males and less likely to occur in children from households where the gross annual income was greater than $AU80,000. Conclusions: Children with asthma were more likely to be treated for a mental health problem and demonstrate more negative social outcomes as well as poorer overall health and well-being. Asthma management plans need to be sensitive to these psychosocial factors for adequate care of these vulnerable young patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Child behavior
  • Childhood asthma
  • Mental health
  • Psychosocial adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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