Naturalistically observed conflict and youth asthma symptoms

Erin T. Tobin, Heidi S. Kane, Daniel J. Saleh, Sylvie Naar-King, Pavadee Poowuttikul, Elizabeth Secord, Wayne Pierantoni, Valerie A. Simon, Richard B. Slatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the links between naturalistically observed conflict, self-reported caregiver- youth conflict, and youth asthma symptoms. Method: Fifty-four youth with asthma (age range: 10-17 years) wore the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) for a 4-day period to assess interpersonal conflict and caregiver-youth conflict as they occur in daily life. Conflict also was assessed with baseline self-report questionnaires and daily diaries completed by youth participants and their caregivers. Asthma symptoms were assessed using daily diaries, baseline self-reports, and wheezing, as coded from the EAR. Results: EAR-observed measures of conflict were strongly associated with self-reported asthma symptoms (both baseline and daily diaries) and wheezing coded from the EAR. Further, when entered together in regression analyses, youth daily reports of negative caregiver-youth interactions and EAR-observed conflict uniquely predicted asthma symptoms; only EAR-observed conflict was associated with EARobserved wheezing. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the potential impact of daily conflict on youth asthma symptoms and the importance of assessing conflict as it occurs in everyday life. More broadly, they point to the importance of formulating a clear picture of family interactions outside of the lab, which is essential for understanding how family relationships "get under the skin" to affect youth health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-631
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Asthma
  • Conflict
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Electronically activated recorder (EAR)
  • Health
  • Parent-child relationship


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