Childhood respiratory symptoms and mental health problems: The role of intergenerational smoking

Authors


  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate the potential role of youth smoking, parental cigarette smoking and parental anxiety/depressive disorders in the relationship between respiratory symptoms and mental health problems among youth.

Working Hypothesis

Adjusting for both parental smoking and parental anxiety/depressive disorders in the association between respiratory symptoms and mental health problems among young persons will significantly reduce the strength of the observed relationship.

Study Design

Prospective cohort study.

Patient-Subject Selection

Data were drawn from a school-based sample of 1709 young persons in Oregon.

Methodology

Physical and mental health data were collected on youth.

Results

Respiratory symptoms were associated with significantly increased odds of mental health problems among youth. After adjusting for youth smoking, the relationship between respiratory symptoms and depressive disorders was no longer statistically significant. The relationships between respiratory symptoms and anxiety and depressive disorders were no longer significant after adjusting for parental smoking. Parental anxiety/depressive disorders did not appear to influence these relationships.

Conclusions

These results provide initial evidence that exposure to parental smoking may play a role in the observed co-occurrence of respiratory and mental health problems in youth, and youths' own smoking appears to influence the link with depressive disorders, but not anxiety disorders. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2013; 48:195–201. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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