Study finds chaotic households impact asthma control in children

“Lack of organization or set routines, among other things — seems to be a pathway linking parental depression and worse child asthma control.”

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Chaotic households could prove to be difficult for children with asthma.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that homes run on chaos — like where relaxation is impossible — pose asthma control risk to children.

“Higher levels of chaos — lack of organization or set routines, among other things — seems to be a pathway linking parental depression and worse child asthma control,” said Sally Weinstein, first author on the report, in a statement.


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Researchers examined the relationship between parent and children depression, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD), family functioning, and asthma control amongst urban minority with “uncontrolled asthma,” which is when children have excessive asthma symptoms that needed to be rescued with medication.

In total, more than 200 urban minority children between ages 5-16 were examined along with one of each’s a parent.

The study found that parent and childhood depression symptoms were associated with worse asthma control, but not PTSD. In addition, family chaos worsened asthma control even when it was controlled by researchers. To measure family chaos, researchers examined a 15-question questionnaire that asked participants about their living habits.

“When a parent is depressed, it’s harder to keep the family routines running smoothly, and it’s also harder to manage the daily demands of caring for their child’s asthma, which can require multiple medications and avoidance of triggers,” said Weinstein. “We saw that in families with greater household chaos, child asthma control tended to be worse.”

Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.