Objective: To examine how one aspect of family life, notably family rituals and routines, may protect children with asthma from anxiety-related symptoms. Methods: Eighty-six families (43 children with asthma, 43 healthy comparison children) participated in the study. Children completed measures of anxiety (Revised Child Manifest Anxiety Scale) and health. Parents completed measures of stress (Parenting Stress Index), family rituals (Family Routines Questionnaire), and family health. Results: Families that reported more meaning in their family routines had children who reported lower levels of anxiety. Mother endorsement of family ritual meaning and father endorsement of family ritual routine were most strongly related to lower levels of anxiety. Support for the protective function of meaningful family rituals was stronger when a general health stress model was used rather than the presence or absence of asthma alone. Conclusions: Family rituals may serve a protective function for children with asthma under conditions of heightened parenting stress.
- Child anxiety
- Family routines
- Pediatric asthma
- Protective factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology