Family functioning, eosinophil activity, and symptoms in children with asthma

Katherine B. Ehrlich*, Gregory E. Miller, Edith Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined prospective connections among parental depressive symptoms, family dysfunction, and eosinophil activity in children with asthma. Methods: 81 children with asthma and their parents completed two laboratory visits across a 1-year period. At baseline and 1 year later, parents reported about their depressive symptoms and family dysfunction. We collected peripheral blood in children to measure eosinophil counts and eosinophil cationic protein. Following visits, children recorded their asthma symptoms for 2 weeks. Results: After controlling for demographic and biomedical covariates, a significant T1 x T2 Family Dysfunction interaction emerged, suggesting that the links between family dysfunction at T1 and eosinophil counts and activity at T2 depended on family functioning at T2. Parental depressive symptoms were unrelated to eosinophil activity and asthma symptoms. Conclusions: These findings suggest that improvements in family functioning are associated with decreases in eosinophil activity, which may contribute to inflammatory processes that affect airway function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • Asthma
  • Eosinophils, eosinophil cationic protein
  • Family dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Parental depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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