Mom's Stress My Worsen Child's Asthma

FUKUOKA, Japan, Oct. 8 (UPI) — Japanese researchers have linked mothers’ stressed emotional states and the severity of their children’s asthma symptoms.

Study leader Jun Nagano of Kyushu University Institute of Health Science in Fukuoka, Japan, found mothers who are often angry or irritated and those who suppress their emotional expressions can worsen the severity of their children’s asthma symptoms, especially when the children are younger.


The study, published in the journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine, found “over-interference” stemming from excessive protectiveness associated with worsening asthma in children age 7 and older. For those under age 7, a mother’s chronic irritation and anger, or a tendency to suppress her emotional expressions, was predictive of a more severe disease in the subsequent year.

“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,” Nagano said in a statement.

Nagano and colleagues studied 223 mothers for a year, investigating how their stress levels, coping styles and parenting styles were associated with their children’s disease status.

Mothers’ tendencies to reject, dominate, overprotect and indulge their children were assessed by questionnaire, as were their specific kinds of chronic stress and coping styles, the study said.

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