Parental perceptions of childhood illness

Giovanni Peri, Enrico Molinari, Alberto Taverna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article takes parental perception as the starting point of an analysis of the relationship between ill children, their families, and their doctors in the handling of a child's illness. A modified version of Creer, Marion, and Creeps Asthma Problem Behavior Checklist, adapted to suit Italian conditions, was used. The questionnaire was given to a sample of 460 parents of 230 preadolescent children. The sample was divided into two groups: The first sample was comprised of 84 parents of 42 preadolescent children with atopic symptoms (asthma, bronchitis, or hay fever), and the second sample was comprised of 376 parents of 188 preadolescents who had never had either atopic disturbances or any other serious disease. The results showed that both groups of parents felt their children were capable of autonomously managing their disease, and that they see medical facilities as their primary resource. Children were not perceived as being altered by their illness, although their illness undoubtedly affected family relationships; this was particularly true in the case of families with members who experience atopic problems. The factors causing the greatest difficulties were: disagreements over treatment, anxiety caused by the disease, and the sacrifices made by family members as a result of illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Parental perceptions of childhood illness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this