Title

Parent and peer evaluations of the social competence of children with mild asthma

Abstract

The social competence of children with asthma has been studied primarily using self- and parent reports; peer evaluations rarely have been used. This research examined parent and peer reports of the social competence of 22 children (ages 6 to 12) with mild asthma compared to a group of children without asthma. Young children with asthma (Grades 1-3) had lower social competence based on parent reports using the Achenbach and Edelbrock Social Competence Scale, and had fewer close friends based on both parent and peer reports compared to a) older children with asthma (Grades 4-6) and to b) children without asthma (Grades 1-6). Children with asthma did not differ from children without asthma on peer measures of popularity or social acceptability. Although parents and peers both perceived reduced social competence of young children with asthma (as measured by number of friends), parents considerably underestimated their child's social competence, as indicated by measures of peer standing. That is, young children with asthma were as popular and as socially acceptable as their classmates without asthma. The present study highlights the importance of considering both parent and peer reports of social competence of children with asthma, as well as developmental differences.

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology

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