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Patterns of psychological reaction to asthma in children


Asthmatic children were matched with a group of nonasthmatic children for sex and age. Scores on content analysis scales representing nine emotional elements on their reactions were compared. Lack of emotional expression was hypothesized but not observed in the asthmatics. The main pattern of reaction identified was of directly and indirectly expressed anger and statements of helplessness, yet many expressions of competence and good feelings. This pattern did not vary according to sex or grade of the children, but only according to age. Preadolescent asthmatic children showed more depression and fewer good feelings than the younger children, and their characteristic pattern was dominated by indirectly expressed anger.

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Author information

Correspondence to Linda L. Viney.

Additional information

The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Carol Preston to this research, together with the financial support received from the Australian Research Grants Scheme (Grant No. 7715046R).

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Viney, L.L., Westbrook, M.T. Patterns of psychological reaction to asthma in children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 13, 477–484 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00923135

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  • Asthma
  • Young Child
  • Content Analysis
  • Emotional Expression
  • Characteristic Pattern