Childhood Asthma and Parental Stress Are Linked

Researchers have found a connection between financial stress from parents and children's asthma symptoms deteriorating.

A long-term illness that damages the lungs' airways is asthma. The tubes that transport air into and out of your lungs are called airways, and the airways might occasionally become irritated and constricted. As a result, exhaling becomes more difficult for the air to leave the airways.

Approximately 4.5 million children in America under the age of 18 have asthma. Compared to non-Hispanic White children, non-Hispanic Black children had a twofold higher risk of asthma. Additionally, male children are more likely than female children to have asthma.


K. M. Shahunja of the University of Queensland conducted a study examining data from over 3,900 children gathered over 14 years in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to investigate the common ailment.

We examined the relationship between psychosocial factors such as maternal depression, financial hardship, stressful life events, and parental availability and the occurrence of wheezing as a symptom of asthma.

- Shahunja

The group compared youngsters who had wheezing as a kid and those whose medical history did not mention it.

When compared to children who had less stressful situations, children whose parents were experiencing moderate to high levels of stress were shown to be 77% more likely to have elevated rates of wheezing.

Children whose mothers had moderate levels of depression had a 55% greater chance of having high wheezing rates, and children whose parents experienced substantial financial difficulties had a 40% higher chance of having this respiratory condition.

According to Dr. Shahunja, this study is the first in Australia to examine the relationship between asthma symptoms and psychosocial variables using longitudinal studies of children aged one to fifteen.

It is also the first time that experts have connected a parent's depressive symptoms and financial stress to more significant asthma symptoms throughout childhood, despite prior studies showing that general parental stress might cause their child's asthma.

While most people are aware that environmental triggers for asthma, such as smoke, pollution from vehicles, and allergens, can potentially exacerbate symptoms, they may be unaware of the adverse effects of psychosocial stresses.


He continues by saying caregivers and medical professionals must comprehend how much a child's psychosocial environment affects them and how stress may make asthma symptoms worse.

The team concludes that further study is required to create practical solutions for addressing parental stress, financial difficulty, and depression to manage children's asthma over the long term effectively.

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