Anxiety and Asthma Symptoms in Urban Adolescents with Asthma: The Mediating Role of Illness Perceptions
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Twenty to 40% of adolescents with asthma experience significant symptoms of anxiety. This study examined the mediational role of illness perceptions in the relationship between anxiety and asthma symptoms in adolescents. One hundred fifty-one urban adolescents (ages 11–18) with asthma completed measures of illness perceptions, and anxiety and asthma symptoms. Using the Baron and Kenny approach and Sobel tests, we examined whether illness perceptions mediated the anxiety-asthma symptom relationship. Three illness perceptions significantly mediated the relationship between anxiety and asthma symptoms, z = 1.97–2.13, p < .05; adjusted R 2 = 0.42–0.51, p < .05. Greater anxiety symptoms were associated with perceptions that asthma negatively impacted one’s life and emotions and was difficult to control. These negative illness perceptions were, in turn, related to greater asthma symptoms. Illness perceptions helped explain the anxiety-asthma symptoms link in adolescents. Results suggest that targeting illness perceptions in adolescents with asthma and anxiety may help reduce asthma symptoms.
KeywordsAsthma Anxiety Adolescents Illness perceptions
This work was supported by a National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Grant # K23 HD052639 (Cotton, PI).
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