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J Learn Disabil. 1993 Jan;26(1):23-32.

Learning, school performance, and children with asthma: how much at risk?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.


Children with asthma may be at risk for decreased school functioning due to acute exacerbations, increased absenteeism, iatrogenic effects of their asthma medication, and the stress associated with a chronic illness. The purpose of this article is to critically review extant research pertaining to the school functioning of children with asthma, including studies of school attendance, school performance, the effects of asthma medications on learning and behavior, and the role of psychological variables in the development of functional impairments. There is not sufficient evidence to suggest that children with asthma are at significantly higher risk for poor school performance than children without asthma. Factors that may contribute to poor school performance among children with asthma include iatrogenic effects of oral steroids, poor medical management of the disease, and psychological problems. Recommendations for improving the school functioning of children with asthma are discussed.

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