Aim: The objective of this study is to evaluate the self-esteem levels of asthmatic children and the maternal emotional expressiveness.
Material and Method: Sixty-five children and adolescents with the diagnosis of asthma were compared with a control group of 76 children, without a chronic illness. Presence of psychopathology was evaluated by Kiddie-Schizofrenia Affective Disorders Schedule, behavioral problems were assessed by Child Behaviour Checklist. Additionally, Piers Harris Self- Esteem Inventory and Expressed Emotions Questionnaire were administered to children and adolescents and to their mothers, respectively. In order to compare the groups, chi square and student’s t-tests, and to assess the relationship between the variables Pearson’s correlation analyses were used.
Results: Psychiatric diagnoses (p=0.00) and behavioral problems (p<0.01) were encountered more frequently in children with asthma. Although self-esteem levels of asthmatic children were similar to those of the control group, as maternal emotional expression increased, children tended to have lower self esteem levels (r=-0.38, p=0.002). Maternal emotional expression levels were found to be higher in the asthma group (p=0.006) and it showed positive correlation with the presence of psychopathology and behavioral problems in the children.
Conclusions: Although self-esteem was not directly affected by the presence of asthma, co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders, emotional and behavioral problems, and high maternal emotional expressiveness result in decreased self-esteem in children. (Turk Arch Ped 2010; 45: 144-9)
Key words: Asthma, child, expressed emotion, self-concept