Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 2–15 | Cite as

Distinctions between subgroups of asthmatic children: Parental reactions to experimental separation

  • Kenneth Purcell


Parental reactions to experimental separation were analyzed for two groups of asthmatic children, those for whom behavioral factors were judged highly relevant to asthma and those for whom such factors appeared unimportant. The former group of 13 (predicted “positives”) had shown a highly significant improvement in asthma during separation from their families; the latter group of 12 (predicted “negatives”) had not. Coding of standardized interviews conducted around the time of separation disclosed that parents (mothers, especially) of predicted positives scored significantly higher than parents of predicted negatives on such scales as “fussing over the child at the time of leave taking,” “missing child,” “experiencing pain and discomfort during the separation,” “being anxious over child's welfare,” etc. Psychological test data did not discriminate between the parents' or childrens' groups as clearly as the more focused separation interviews but the test results were consistent with interview differences. The separation elicited very strong emotional reactions from several mothers.


Asthma Test Data Emotional Reaction Asthmatic Child Behavioral Factor 
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Copyright information

© V. H. Winston and Sons, Inc 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Purcell
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenver

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