Patterns of Psychosocial Adaptation and Allergic Disorders in Korean Schoolchildren

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2011;154(3):249-57. doi: 10.1159/000321112. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


Background: To date, there is little evidence to support an association between symptoms of pediatric allergic disorders and psychosocial factors in the general population, particularly in Asian countries. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between psychosocial factors and symptoms of allergic disorders and to investigate the association between behavior problems and biomarkers of atopy.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of parental responses to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire and the Korean version of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was conducted from one elementary school in Seoul, Korea. Skin prick tests for 18 major allergens were also performed.

Results: A total of 780 children with valid CBCL surveys were included in the study. Externalizing problems were significantly larger in children with asthmatic symptoms, while internalizing problems were significantly larger in children with symptoms of both asthma and allergic rhinitis. Social adaptations were significantly lower in children with symptoms of allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis. Boys with more positive allergens via the skin prick tests showed larger internalizing problems.

Conclusions: While school children with allergic symptoms have been reported to have more difficulties with psychosocial adaptation, the patterns of psychosocial problems varied somewhat according to the types of atopic disorder. There was a positive relationship between atopy and behavior problems, especially in boys.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / physiopathology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Male
  • Psychology
  • Republic of Korea
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / psychology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / psychology*
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires