Behaviour Problems in Children with Asthma and their Siblings
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between asthma and behaviour, between children with asthma (mean age= 6.11), and their siblings without asthma (mean age= 6.03). Maternal reports of children’s behaviour with asthma (N=10) and their siblings without asthma (N=10) were measured using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Additional questions on asthma severity and general health were also included. Using a Chi-square method for matched pairs, the findings indicated that children with asthma did not have more behaviour problems than their siblings who did not have asthma. However, children with asthma were more likely to have tantrums and problems with attention than were their siblings without asthma. The total behaviour score indicated that for seven of the sibling pairs their behaviour was similar, in that there were no problems. Additionally, children who had asthma and took preventer medication were less likely to have behaviour problems than children who did not use asthma preventers. This study was limited by the small sample size and the reliance on maternal reported measure of behaviour. Important factors that might affect behaviour in children with asthma and their siblings were identified, and directions for future research and clinical practice have been proposed.