Asthma symptoms, interactive physical play and behavioral and academic outcomes in urban children with persistent asthma

Dhristie Bhagat, Maria Fagnano, Jill S. Halterman, Marina Reznik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: Asthma may lead to reduced participation in interactive physical play (IPP). Urban youth with asthma are also at risk for behavioral and academic difficulties. Exploring associations between asthma, IPP and socio-emotional and academic outcomes in children with asthma is important. Study objectives are to: (1) describe IPP participation among school children with persistent asthma; (2) determine if IPP varies with asthma severity (3) determine independent associations of both asthma severity and IPP with socio-emotional and academic outcomes. Methods: We analyzed data from children with persistent asthma enrolled in the SB-TEAM trial (Rochester, NY). Caregiver surveys assessed asthma severity, IPP participation (gym ≥3 days/week, running at recess, sports team participation), socio-emotional and academic outcomes. Bivariate and regression analyses assessed relationships between variables. Results: Of 324 children in the study (59% Black, 31% Hispanic, mean age 7.9), 53% participated in any IPP at school. Compared to those with mild persistent asthma, fewer children with moderate-severe asthma had no limitation in gym (44% vs. 58%, p <.01), and fewer ran at recess (29% vs. 42%, p <.01) or engaged in any IPP (48% vs. 58%, p =.046). Asthma severity was not associated with socio-emotional or academic outcomes. However, children participating in IPP had better positive peer social and task orientation skills, were less shy/anxious, and more likely to meet academic standards (all p <.05). Results were consistent in multivariable analyses. Conclusions: Urban children with moderate-severe asthma partake in less IPP, which is associated with socio-emotional and academic outcomes. Further efforts are needed to optimize asthmatic children’s participation in IPP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-718
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • Pediatric asthma
  • academic performance
  • behavior
  • physical activity
  • school-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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