-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A mother's negative
emotions or behavior can worsen the severity of her child's asthma,
new research suggests.
In the study, Japanese researchers followed 223 mothers for a
year in order to assess how their stress levels, coping skills and
parenting styles influenced asthma symptoms in their children, aged
2 to 12 years old.
Among children older than 7 years of age, a worsening of asthma
was associated with mothers' excessive interference due to being
overprotective. Among children younger than 7, more severe asthma
symptoms were associated with mothers' chronic irritation and anger
or a tendency to suppress expressions of emotion, the investigators
The study was published online Oct. 7 in the journal
"A mother's stress (or well-being) may be verbally or non-verbally conveyed to her child, and affect the child's asthmatic status via a psycho-physiological pathway, such as by immunoreactivity to allergens or a vulnerability to airway infections," Jun Nagano, of the Kyushu University Institute of Health Science in Fukuoka, Japan, explained in a news release from the journal's publisher.
"Our results suggest that the mothers of younger children may be advised not to worry about falling into 'unfavorable' parenting styles, but to pay more attention to the reduction of their own stress; and that the mothers of older children may be encouraged to increase their own well-being," Jun concluded.
The American Lung Association has more about
asthma and children.
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