Self image, coping and familial interaction among asthmatic children and adolescents in Israel

Patient Educ Couns. 1997 Feb;30(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(96)00945-7.


The study was designed to investigate self esteem, modes of coping and interfamilial relationships of asthmatic children and adolescents. Fifty-one asthmatic children (mean age: 12.26 +/- 2.56 years; 57% boys and 43% girls) were questioned about psychological factors of self image, coping with stressful situations and family interaction. The data was compared with that from 32 healthy children who had the same socio-economic parameters. The self image scoring of the asthmatic children were lower in comparison with the healthy children (P = 0.035). The scores for their mode of coping with stressful situations and their chronic disease was lower in comparison with the control group (P = 0.041). Also, the scoring of the asthmatic group for their family interaction was lower in comparison with healthy children (P = 0.036). Thus, clinicians, besides providing regular drug therapy need to invest additional effort in educational and psychological means on behalf of asthmatic children. Children should not feel guilty because of their chronic disease. Psychological support can give them a chance to improve improve their self image with this chronic disease, to improve their mode of coping with their asthma and to improve immediate familial relationships. This can be done by medical social workers, educational counsellors and psychologists in collaboration with physicians. These families can participate in support groups, which will be organized for these 'asthmatic families'.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Self Concept*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires