Online Program

Pediatric asthma management among African American fathers: Navigating the co-parent relationship

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Damian Waters, PhD, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Asthma is among the most common chronic illness among children (Akinbami, 2006). Roughly 1.8 million African American children (17.3%) currently have asthma, a rate significantly higher than White children (7.8%) (Akinbami, Rhodes, & Lara, 2005). Despite the disproportionate burden born by African American children, asthma may be effectively controlled through proper diagnosis, care, and management. Although several studies have examined family factors that shape asthma management, few have assessed fathers' role in caring for the health needs of their children with asthma (Stewart & Menning, 2009; Bronke-Tinkew, et al., 2009). This study draws a sample of African American men (n = 24) whose children (n = 33, m = 8.4 years) have asthma to explore fathers' experiences managing their children's asthma. Grounded theory guided a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews in which participants discussed how their contextual factors impact their engagement in asthma management, particicularly their relationships with the mothers of their children (Daly, 2007). Three narratives emerged that suggest that the romantic tenor of the co-parent relationship, communication patterns, and gendered division of responsibilities shaped how African American men negotiate asthma management for their children. The present study builds on prior studies of pediatric asthma management and begins to elucidate how family processes, as a social determinant of health, shape experiences of asthma among African American children. Implications for policy and practice will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how African American fathers communicate with the mothers of their children in order to manage their children’s asthma Discuss how the quality of the co-parent relationship affects how African American men manage children’s asthma

Keyword(s): Children With Special Needs, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked extensively with African American families, particularly fathers, in the medical setting . Additionally, I have developed research skills, experience, and expertise around the experiences of fathers, particularly African American, low-income, and young men.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.