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Caregiver Daily Experiences Associated with Child Asthma Symptoms

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Objective: In this study, we used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) delivered via smart- phones to determine how the daily experiences (comfort in neighborhood, ability to manage child's asthma, positive/negative affect) of 59 caregivers (90% African-American/black) living in an urban setting are associated with asthma symptoms in children ages 7-12 years (M = 9.56 years). Methods: Caregivers and their children with asthma completed a baseline research ses- sion, followed by 14 days of EMA surveys completed on smartphones. EMA enables researchers to examine within-person processes while preserving the ecological validity of the data and re- ducing retrospective recall bias. Results: On days when caregivers reported more child asthma symptoms, they also reported feeling less comfortable in their neighborhoods and less able to control their child's asthma at home. Baseline reports of caregiver quality of life were also associ- ated with child asthma symptoms. Conclusions: Findings highlight the need for researchers and clinicians to recognize that both asthma (ie, ability to control asthma) and non-asthma related factors (ie, factors related to neighborhoods) may be associated with caregivers' perceptions of their children's asthma symptoms. Perceptions of child symptoms have important consequences for daily asthma care, including decisions related to healthcare utilization.
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Keywords: ASTHMA PATIENT CAREGIVERS; CHILDHOOD ASTHMA; ECOLOGICAL MOMENTARY ASSESSMENT; FAMILY HEALTH; URBAN HEALTH

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 2: Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 3: Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 4: Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Publication date: 01 March 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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