The Mediating Role of Child Self Efficacy in Socioeconomic Status and Marital Status Affecting Pediatric Asthma Severity
Presented at the Spring 2022 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.
Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in children. Studies have found that children from families with lower parental socioeconomic status (SES) have poor asthma control, leading to greater asthma severity. Children from single-parent households were also found to have greater asthma severity. These associations between family structure and asthma severity may exist through the mediating mechanism of self-efficacy. Specifically, it has been shown that children from families of higher SES and with married parents have higher self-efficacy and self-esteem. In turn, higher self-efficacy in pediatric asthma patients is associated with greater self-management and lower severity. This study will investigate how family structure and SES are associated with children’s asthma severity and the mediating role of self-efficacy. Data were obtained from Children’s Health Orange County Pulmonary Clinic with pediatric patients with asthma between the ages of 12-17 (N = 47). Parents and children completed a baseline survey where parents self-reported marital status and SES, and children completed subjective measures of self-efficacy. For seven days, four times a day, children measured their asthma severity by recording lung function values, Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF), and Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (FEV1), using a peak flow meter. These variables were used to perform mediation analysis in SPSS. Mediation analysis found that there were no significant associations found between parental SES and child self-efficacy, and child self-efficacy and child asthma severity for both FEV1 and PEF values. Similarly, no significant associations were found between parental marital status and child self-efficacy, and child self-efficacy and child asthma severity for both FEV1 and PEF values. These results suggest that child self-efficacy may not serve as a mediator in the association between parental SES and child asthma severity and the association between parental marital status and child asthma severity.