Prospective Relationship between Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Asthma Morbidity among Inner-City African American Children

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Objective To examine prospective relationships between caregiver's depressive symptoms and child asthma morbidity among inner-city African American families. Methods Phone surveys were conducted 6 months apart with 262 African American mothers of children with asthma. Cross-lagged structural path analysis was used for data analyses. Results Using goodness-of-fit indices, the final model for asthma symptoms had a good fit to the data. Time 1 (T1) maternal depressive symptoms predicted T2 child asthma symptoms (β =.16, p <.01); however, T1 asthma symptoms did not predict T2 maternal depressive symptoms (β =.03, non-significant). In contrast, in the final model for emergency department (ED) visits there was no predictive association between maternal depressive symptoms and ED visits. Conclusion Maternal depressive symptoms may have a detrimental effect on child asthma morbidity among inner-city African American families, rather than vice versa. Ameliorating maternal depressive symptoms may result in better asthma outcomes for inner-city children.

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