Fathers and Asthma Care: Paternal Involvement, Beliefs, and Management Skills

J Pediatr Psychol. 2015 Sep;40(8):768-80. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv035. Epub 2015 Apr 28.


Objective: To compare asthma care roles of maternal and paternal caregivers, and examine associations between caregiver involvement and the outcomes of adherence, morbidity, and parental quality of life (QoL).

Methods: Mothers and fathers in 63 families of children, ages 5-9 years, with persistent asthma completed semistructured interviews and questionnaires. Adherence was measured via electronic monitoring. Paired t tests compared parental asthma care roles, and analysis of covariance, controlling for socioeconomic status, evaluated associations of asthma outcomes with caregiver involvement scores.

Results: Mothers had higher scores on measures of involvement, beliefs in medication necessity, and on four subscales of the Family Asthma Management System Scale interview (Asthma Knowledge, Relationship with Provider, Symptom Assessment, and Response to Symptoms). Maternal QoL was lowest when both maternal and paternal involvement was high. Paternal involvement was associated with increased morbidity.

Conclusions: There is room for enhancement of fathers' asthma care roles. Higher levels of paternal involvement may be driven by family need.

Keywords: adherence; asthma; co-parenting; fathers; paternal; pediatric; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Management*
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Fathers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires