Examining Profiles of Family Functioning in Pediatric Asthma: Longitudinal Associations With Child Adjustment and Asthma Severity.

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Abstract

Objective

Identify profiles of functioning in families of children with asthma and examine whether profile membership predicts subsequent child mental and physical well-being.

Methods

Primary caregivers and children ( N  = 1,030) from the Childhood Asthma Management Program completed questionnaires assessing family functioning and child adaptation at five time points. Asthma severity was also assessed via spirometry.

Results

Latent profile analyses identified a four-profile solution as best fitting the data: cohesive, permissive, controlling/disengaged, and controlling/enmeshed families. Distal outcome analyses using Bolck-Croon-Hagenaars techniques suggested that children from families that were more cohesive had fewer internalizing and externalizing symptoms. These associations remained stable across time. Family profiles did not differ with regards to child asthma severity.

Conclusion

Results highlight the importance of looking beyond the effects of distinct components of family functioning and instead using pattern-based approaches. Recommendations for incorporating screenings and services for families in pediatric care settings are provided.

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