Childhood asthma affecting more than just breathing

October 26, 2005

BOSTON - Oct. 26, 2005 - 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.
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This article is published in the October issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Media who wish to receive a copy of the article may contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Jennifer Bender Berz, MA, MEd, is a Doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Education in Human Development & Psychology with specialization in Risk and Prevention. For questions and interviews, please contact Jennifer Berz jbender@post.harvard.edu or Karla Murdock murdockk@wlu.edu.

About the Journal
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, the official publication of the Association of Child Psychiatric Nursing (ACAPN) Division of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN), is the only nursing journal to focus exclusively on issues of child and adolescent mental health around the world. As a primary resource for health professionals doing clinical practice, teaching or research in pediatric and psychiatric care, the journal includes peer-reviewed, original articles from a wide range of contributors in a broad variety of settings.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date, has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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