Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Marcia Winter


Family factors have long been associated with the psychosocial adjustment of children with chronic illnesses, such as asthma (Minuchin, 1975; Rapee, 1997). Research indicates that negative family factors may also contribute to child disease severity, via bio-behavioral mechanisms of effect (Wood et al., 2006); however, these pathways have yet to be examined with a comprehensive focus on more positive family factors. This study sought to examine whether factors such as family cohesion, problem solving abilities, and communication influence asthma symptom severity in children via their effects on child depression and anxiety symptoms. Using structural equation modeling, we identified significant indirect associations between family factors and child asthma severity via child depressive symptoms; however, these associations were not present in models mediated by child anxiety symptoms. Results highlight the importance of families in pediatric asthma settings. Findings suggest differential roles for anxiety and depression in their associations with child asthma severity.


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