Psychosocial variables may affect the clinical course of childhood asthma. In this study, 37 children with asthma were assessed for DSM-III-R anxiety disorders with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children and intrafamilial stress with the Index of Family Relations. When compared with a healthy control group, the asthma group had significantly more total anxiety disorders, past school problems, past psychiatric illnesses, and intrafamilial stress. There was also more family history of emotional problems in the asthma group. The implications of these findings for clinical management of this population are discussed.