Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 477–484 | Cite as

Patterns of psychological reaction to asthma in children

  • Linda L. Viney
  • Mary T. Westbrook


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.


Asthma Young Child Content Analysis Emotional Expression Characteristic Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda L. Viney
    • 2
  • Mary T. Westbrook
    • 1
  1. 1.Cumberland College of Health SciencesAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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