Influence of social support on asthma self-management in adolescents

Elizabeth Sloand, Arlene Butz, Hyekyun Rhee, Leanne Walters, Kathleen Breuninger, Rosario Alejandra Pozzo, Christina Marie Barnes, Mona Newsome Wicks, Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Adolescents with asthma are influenced by peers and family. The objective was to better understand family social support and test its association with medication adherence, asthma control, and Emergency Department (ED) use. Methods: This study is a cross-sectional secondary data analysis from a randomized controlled trial with urban adolescents from three U.S. cities. Participants (12-20 years old) with asthma completed the Perceived Family Support Scale (PFS) and Horne’s Medication Adherence Report Scale (MARS). Data from both tools were classified into 2 categories- high and low (< 25th percentile) perceived family support and high (total score >10) and low medication adherence, respectively. Chi-square statistic and logistic regression were used for analysis. Results: Of the 371 participants, the majority were young (96% ≤ 17 years), African American or Bi-racial (85%), and Medicaid-insured (72%); over one-third had maternal family history of asthma. Among those on a controller medication (n = 270), only 37% reported its use ≥8 days over 2 weeks. Asthma control was poor with 50% categorized “not well controlled,” 34% “very poorly controlled.” Participants responded positively to most social support items. One item, providing and receiving social support to and from family members, was less often positively reported. Low medication adherence was significantly associated with lower perceived social support (p = 0.018). Conclusion: This study underscores the importance of family social support in understanding the extent of adolescents’ self-management, particularly medication adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-394
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Asthma
  • adolescents
  • asthma control
  • family social support
  • medication adherence
  • self-management
  • social support
  • urban adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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