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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2014 Oct;35(8):486-93. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000093.

Effects of family treatment on parenting beliefs among caregivers of youth with poorly controlled asthma.

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*Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; †Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.



Caregiver involvement is critical in ensuring optimal adolescent asthma management. The study investigated whether multisystemic therapy (MST), an intensive home-based family therapy, was superior to family support for changing beliefs regarding asthma-related positive parenting among caregivers of African-American youth with poorly controlled asthma. The relationship between parenting beliefs and asthma management at the conclusion of the intervention was also assessed.


A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 167 adolescents with moderate-to-severe, persistent, poorly controlled asthma and their primary caregivers. Families were randomly assigned to MST or family support (FS), a home-based family support condition. Data were collected at baseline and 7-month posttest. Changes in caregiver ratings of importance and confidence for engaging in asthma-related positive parenting were assessed through questionnaire. Illness management was assessed by the Family Asthma Management System Scale.


Participation in MST was associated with more change in caregiver beliefs as compared with FS for both importance (t = 2.39, p = .02) and confidence (t = 2.04, p = .04). Caregiver beliefs were also significantly related to youth controller medication adherence at the conclusion of treatment (importance: r = .21, p = .01; confidence: r = .23, p = .004).


Results support the effectiveness of MST for increasing parental beliefs in the value of asthma-related positive parenting behaviors and parental self-efficacy for these behaviors among families of minority adolescents with poorly controlled asthma.

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