Published on October 26, 2005 at 4:48 AM
Recent research has shown that kids with asthma may also be at risk for psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and problems in their social lives including peer interactions.
This study, recently published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, is one of the first to examine relationships among asthma, anxiety and depression, and several aspects of social functioning in urban children.
Findings suggest that among children with and without asthma from urban environments, social functioning is related to both depression and anxiety. Specifically, children with higher levels of anxiety and/or depression were more likely to have poorer interpersonal relations with others, feeling as though other children do not like them, do not respect them, and/or do not want to play with them. They also may experience more stress associated with social interactions and have fewer friends than children without internalizing problems. "The results of this study reinforce the importance of appropriate mental health training for nurses and other health care providers who come into contact with children in urban community health centers," says the study's lead author, Jennifer Bender Berz.
As many as 9 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma, making it one of the most common chronic illnesses among children.