Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Terri Sullivan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Marcia Winter, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Rosalie Corona, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Heather Jones, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Maria Thomson, Ph.D.


Pediatric asthma is a major public health concern that disproportionately affects children of color and youth living in low-income, urban areas. The implications for public health, child health, and family functioning necessitates our understanding and addressing experiences by families who are facing barriers within their socio-demographic context in addition to the stressors associated with managing pediatric asthma. The current study applied qualitative methods to interviews with caregivers of children with and without asthma in an effort to more deeply connect with caregivers’ experiences and yield richer information about the intersection of identities as Black caregivers living in an urban setting while managing a pediatric chronic illness. Eighty-five caregivers who self-identified as Black or African American participated in semi-structured interviews to explore their parenting beliefs and practices, as well as their goals for their children and perceived barriers and supports to these goals. Two questions were selected for analysis from the broader Everyday Parenting Interview (EPI). Interviews were transcribed and coded for emergent themes. A total of eight themes emerged for the first question and related questions/prompts (i.e., What are your goals for your child?), while a total of five themes emerged for the second question and associated questions/prompts (i.e., What do you think children in general need in order to reach those kinds of goals?). Emergent themes spanned several domains, yet health generally and asthma specifically, were rarely mentioned as goals for children. Instead, caregivers highlighted several goals related to achievement, individual responsibility, and social connection. Heavily discussed were caregiver concerns about neighborhood safety and perceived barriers to future success. Findings inform clinical recommendations for systematic screening efforts and intervention to address environmental stressors and competing priorities for Black caregivers of children with asthma.


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