Neighborhoods, Caregiver Stress, and Children's Asthma Symptoms

Erin M. Rodríguez, Craig Evan Pollack, Corinne Keet, Roger Peng, Susan Balcer-Whaley, James Custer, Pete Cimbolic, Elizabeth C. Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Neighborhood and caregiver characteristics have each been linked to children's asthma outcomes, but less is known about how caregiver psychosocial functioning may explain the link between neighborhood characteristics and asthma outcomes. Objective: To examine associations between neighborhood safety, caregiver stress and depressive symptoms, and children's asthma outcomes, and to evaluate whether caregiver stress and depressive symptoms mediate the relationship between neighborhood safety and asthma outcomes. Methods: We analyzed baseline data from a prospective cohort study of the effects of a housing mobility program on children's asthma-related outcomes. Age- and sex-adjusted models evaluated associations of neighborhood safety, and caregiver stress and depressive symptoms, with children's asthma symptoms and exacerbations. Results: Participants were 140 low-income children with persistent asthma (98% Black participants; 53% males; mean age, 9.0 years) with an average of 7.1 ± 5.3 maximum symptom days per 2 weeks. Lower neighborhood safety, and higher caregiver stress and depressive symptoms, were associated with higher asthma symptoms, but not exacerbations, in adjusted models (eg, for neighborhood safety, maximum symptom days: odds ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.07-1.88; for caregiver stress, maximum symptom days: odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01-1.15; for depressive symptoms, maximum symptom days: odds ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.00-1.11). Exploratory analyses suggested that caregiver stress partially mediated associations between neighborhood safety and asthma symptoms for children in unsafe neighborhoods. Conclusions: Neighborhood safety was associated with children's asthma symptoms independent from caregiver stress and depressive symptoms, although for children in unsafe neighborhoods, caregiver stress may partially mediate this association. Findings suggest the importance of targeting multiple systems to improve children's asthma outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Child
  • Depression
  • Neighborhood
  • Stress
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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