Parental psychosocial stress and asthma morbidity in Puerto Rican twins

Nancy E. Lange, Supinda Bunyavanich, Judy L. Silberg, Glorisa Canino, Bernard A. Rosner, Juan C. Celedón

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61 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about paternal psychosocial factors and childhood asthma. Objective: We sought to examine the link between maternal and paternal psychosocial stress and asthma outcomes in young children. Methods: Parents of 339 pairs of Puerto Rican twins were interviewed individually about their own psychosocial stress and about asthma in their children at age 1 year and again about their child's asthma at age 3 years. Fathers were asked about symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and antisocial behavior. Mothers were asked about depressive symptoms. Outcomes assessed in children included recent asthma symptoms, oral steroid use and hospitalizations for asthma in the prior year, and asthma diagnosis. Generalized estimated equation models were used for the multivariate analysis of parental psychosocial stress and asthma morbidity in childhood. Results: After multivariable adjustment, paternal PTSD symptoms, depression, and antisocial behavior were each associated with increased asthma symptoms at age 1 year (eg, odds ratio, 1.08 for each 1-point increase in PTSD score; 95% CI, 1.03-1.14). Maternal depressive symptoms were associated with an increased risk of asthma hospitalizations at age 1 year. At age 3 years, maternal depressive symptoms were associated with asthma diagnosis and hospitalizations for asthma (odds ratio for each 1-point increase in symptoms, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.00-1.36). In an analysis combining 1- and 3-year outcomes, paternal depression was associated with oral steroid use, maternal depressive symptoms were associated with asthma hospitalizations and asthma diagnosis, and parental depression was associated with hospitalizations for asthma. Conclusions: Both paternal and maternal psychosocial factors can influence asthma morbidity in young Puerto Rican children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-740.e7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychosocial stress
  • Puerto Rico
  • asthma
  • childhood wheeze
  • parental stress
  • paternal stress


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