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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • chronic illness;
  • depression;
  • mothers

ABSTRACT Objective: This secondary data analysis study examines the relationship between maternal sociodemographic variables, life events, chronic stressors, including asthma control and management and environmental stressors, and maternal depression.

Design: Cross-sectional descriptive design study consisting of baseline data from participants enrolled in a randomized asthma communication educational intervention trial.

Sample: 201 mothers of children with asthma (ages 6–12), recruited from community pediatric practices and emergency departments of 2 urban university hospitals.

Measurement: Life events were measured using standardized items. Chronic stressors were measured using items from the International Asthma and Allergies in Childhood study and maternal and child exposure to violence. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale.

Results: Close to 25% of the mothers had high depressive symptoms. In separate multiple logistic regression models, education (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.62; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.07, 6.39) or unemployment (AOR=2.38; 95% CI=1.16, 4.90) and the use of quick relief medications (AOR=2.74; 95% CI=1.33, 5.66) for asthma were positively associated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Implications include the need to assess maternal depressive symptoms of mothers of children with asthma, in order to improve asthma management for low-income urban children.