A Life Course Perspective on Stress and Health Among Caregivers of Children With Asthma in Detroit


Low-income caregivers raising children with asthma experience many obstacles to their own health, including stress. To understand and describe their daily experiences, researchers conducted 40 qualitative interviews supplemented with descriptive quantitative surveys in Detroit, Michigan, as part of a community-based participatory research partnership of Community Action Against Asthma. Prevalence of chronic illness is noticeably higher among participants than the general US population. Caregivers identified stress processes that may influence disproportionate health outcomes and risk-related behaviors over their lifetime. Applying a life course perspective, findings suggest that public health interventions should address family-level comorbidities, increase instrumental social support, and acknowledge practical coping mechanisms.



Caregivers, Childhood asthma, Life stressors, Chronic disease


Sampson, N., Parker, E. A., Cheezum, R. R., O’Toole, A., Patton, J., Lewis, T. C., Robins, T. G., Keirns, C. C. (2013) “I wouldn’t look at it as stress”: Conceptualizations of caregiver stress among low-income families of children with asthma. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 24(1), 275-288.