Self-efficacy and childhood asthma : an investigation of psychological factors
Slater, Joanne Tracy
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Childhood asthma is a chronic condition affecting up to one in every seven children. Self-management programs have been developed to help improve children's abilities to both manage and cope with their asthma. If these programs are to be fully effective, an understanding of the psychological factors that influence children's sense of competence to manage their condition is required. This study aimed to identify psychological variables that may influence children's asthma self-efficacy including children's health locus of control, child's attitudes toward illness and children's level of anxiety. The relationship between children's level of asthma knowledge and their sense of competence to manage the illness was explored. The importance of parent's level of asthma knowledge and parent asthma self-efficacy was also examined in relation to children's level of asthma self-efficacy. The study adopted a within group cross-sectional approach. Children aged 7-15 years of age with asthma were invited to participate in the research. Data were collected on 71 children and their parents based on self-report measures rating child and parent asthma self-efficacy and asthma knowledge, child health locus of control, child attitudes toward illness and anxiety. A correlational design was employed to test for associations and relationships between children's asthma self-efficacy and the factors noted above. Results will be given and discussed with reference to previous research findings with conclusions reached.