To examine the relationship between parental reports of child asthma and levels and slopes of anxiety and depression symptoms among two contrasting groups of Puerto Rican youth, and to determine whether asthma is a special risk above and beyond parents’ reports of other youths’ medical conditions.
Two probability samples of youth in San Juan and Caguas, Puerto Rico (n=673) and in the south Bronx, New York (n=598), and their caretakers were interviewed in three yearly assessments. Parental reports of their children's asthma during each assessment were used to indicate whether youth had intermittent (PR=34%, NY=23%) or persistent (PR=7%, NY=16%) asthma. Youths’ depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using self reports to the DISC-IV. Information on youths’ medical comorbidity was gathered through parental reports.
Multilevel analyses adjusting for comorbid medical conditions indicated that parental reports of youths’ intermittent and persistent asthma were related to higher levels, but similar slopes, of anxiety and depression among youth in New York. In Puerto Rico, youth with persistent asthma experienced less improvement in anxiety over time than youth without asthma, but no other associations were found.
Having asthma, based on parental reports, represents a risk factor for Puerto Rican youths’ internalizing symptoms, even after adjusting for comorbid medical conditions. This risk is more pronounced among youth living in New York, which highlights the importance of considering the social context in which youth develop and minority status when examining associations between physical health risk factors and mental health.
anxiety; asthma; depression; Puerto Ricans; trajectories
The aim of this study was to determine ethnic and site differences in quality of life (QOL) in a sample of Latino (Puerto Rican and Dominican) and non-Latino White (NLW) caregivers of children with asthma in mainland US and Island PR. We also investigated ethnic and site differences in associations between caregiver QOL and indicators of asthma morbidity.
Seven-hundred and eighty-seven children with asthma (7–16 years of age) and their primary caregivers participated. Primary caregivers completed a measure of QOL, child asthma control, and emergency department utilization, among other measures.
Ethnic and site differences were found on total QOL scores (ΔF(1, 783) = 29.46, p < .001). Island PR caregivers reported worse QOL scores than RI Latino and NLW caregivers; RI Latino caregivers reported significantly worse QOL scores than NLW caregivers. In RI Latino and Island PR children, worse caregiver QOL was associated with asthma that was not in control and with 1 or more ED visits.
Latino caregivers may be experiencing a greater level of burden related to their child’s asthma than NLW caregivers. Caregiver QOL in pediatric asthma may be a reflection of broader, contextual stress that some Latino caregivers experience on a daily basis (e.g., cultural beliefs, acculturation). Future research should continue to investigate mechanisms that explain the burden associated with pediatric asthma in Latino families, as well as whether QOL assessments should consider the impact of everyday stressors on caregiver QOL in pediatric asthma.
pediatric asthma; quality of life; caregivers; disparities; ethnicity
This study examined the trajectories of delinquency among Puerto Rican children and adolescents in two cultural contexts. Relying on data from the Boricua Youth Study, a longitudinal study of children and youth from Bronx, New York, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, a group-based trajectory procedure estimated the number of delinquency trajectories, whether trajectories differed across contexts, and the relation of risk and protective factors to each. Five trajectories fit the Bronx sample, and four fit the San Juan sample. Differences and similarities were observed. The Bronx sample had a higher rate of delinquency and sensation seeking and violence exposure strongly discriminated offender trajectories. In San Juan, the results were substantively the same. Thus, while the youth lived in different contexts, and the nature and level of delinquency varied across the sites, the effects of most risk factors were more similar than different.
delinquency; Hispanics; trajectories; longitudinal studies
Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more apparent in many populations. Genetic factors may play a role in the maintenance of vitamin D levels. The objective of this study was to perform a genome-wide analysis (GWAS) of vitamin D levels, including replication of prior GWAS results. We measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in serum collected at the time of enrollment and at year 4 in 572 Caucasian children with asthma, who were part of a multi-center clinical trial, the Childhood Asthma Management Program. Replication was performed in a second cohort of 592 asthmatics from Costa Rica and a third cohort of 516 Puerto Rican asthmatics. In addition, we attempted replication of three SNPs that were previously identified in a large GWAS of Caucasian individuals. The setting included data from a clinical trial of childhood asthmatics and two cohorts of asthmatics recruited for genetic studies of asthma. The main outcome measure was circulating 25(OH)D levels. The 25(OH)D levels at the two time-points were only modestly correlated with each other (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.33) in the CAMP population. We identified SNPs that were nominally associated with 25(OH)D levels at two time-points in CAMP, and replicated four SNPs in the Costa Rican cohort: rs11002969, rs163221, rs1678849, and rs4864976. However, these SNPs were not significantly associated with 25(OH)D levels in a third population of Puerto Rican asthmatics. We were able to replicate the SNP with the strongest effect, previously reported in a large GWAS: rs2282679 (GC), and we were able to replicate another SNP, rs10741657 (CYP2R1), to a lesser degree. We were able to replicate two of three prior significant findings in a GWAS of 25(OH)D levels. Other SNPs may be additionally associated with 25(OH)D levels in certain populations.
Research on ethnic-minority youths’ mental health has rarely examined developmental trajectories for the same ethnic group in contexts where they are a minority vs. where they are the majority, or mechanisms accounting for differences in trajectories across such contexts. This study examines Puerto Rican youth residing in two contexts -- one in which they are in their home culture of Puerto Rico, and one in which they are a minority group, in New York. We explore the relationship between social context, minority status, risk, resilience, and trajectories of internalizing symptoms after adjusting for factors related to migration. We found that youths’ reports of internalizing symptoms declined over time. Youth in New York had higher levels of internalizing symptoms than youth in Puerto Rico, but similar trajectories. Differences in internalizing symptoms across the two social contexts were accounted for by experiences of discrimination and exposure to violence. Parental monitoring was associated with fewer internalizing symptoms across the two sites, although this effect diminished over time. Contrary to what was expected, family religiosity was associated with higher levels of internalizing symptoms. This association was stronger in the New York than in the Puerto Rico site.
internalizing symptoms; ethnic minorities; early adolescents; risk and resilience
Using a longitudinal sample of Puerto Rican adolescents living in the Bronx, New York, this study examines the predictors of exposure to violence within gender. Results from a series of negative binomial regressions suggested (a) sensation seeking, peer delinquency, coercive discipline, and initial delinquency increased the likelihood of exposure to violence for both males and females at multiple time points and (b) initial delinquency was the only consistent predictor of exposure to violence at all time points. Regarding the role of gender, the results indicated that some risk factors were similar across genders (e.g., sensation seeking, coercive discipline, peer delinquency, and delinquent behavior), whereas other risk factors differed across gender (e.g., age and welfare among males and school environment for females). Study limitations and implications are discussed.
exposure to violence; Hispanics; delinquency; longitudinal
Rationale: Vitamin D insufficiency (a serum 25(OH)D <30 ng/ml) has been associated with severe asthma exacerbations, but this could be explained by underlying racial ancestry or disease severity. Little is known about vitamin D and asthma in Puerto Ricans.
Objectives: To examine whether vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations in Puerto Rican children, independently of racial ancestry, atopy, and time outdoors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 560 children ages 6–14 years with (n = 287) and without (n = 273) asthma in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We measured plasma vitamin D and estimated the percentage of African racial ancestry among participants using genome-wide genotypic data. We tested whether vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations, lung function, or atopy (greater than or equal to one positive IgE to allergens) using logistic or linear regression. Multivariate models were adjusted for African ancestry, time outdoors, atopy, and other covariates.
Measurements and Main Results: Vitamin D insufficiency was common in children with (44%) and without (47%) asthma. In multivariate analyses, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with higher odds of greater than or equal to one severe asthma exacerbation in the prior year (odds ratio [OR], 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5–4.9; P = 0.001) and atopy, and a lower FEV1/FVC in cases. After stratification by atopy, the magnitude of the association between vitamin D insufficiency and severe exacerbations was greater in nonatopic (OR, 6.2; 95% CI, 2–21.6; P = 0.002) than in atopic (OR, 2; 95% CI, 1–4.1; P = 0.04) cases.
Conclusions: Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations in Puerto Rican children, independently of racial ancestry, atopy, or markers of disease severity or control.
vitamin D; asthma exacerbations; Puerto Ricans; childhood
The relative contributions of genetics and environment to asthma in Hispanics or to asthma in children younger than 3 years are not well understood.
To examine the relative contributions of genetics and environment to early-childhood asthma by performing a longitudinal twin study of asthma in Puerto Rican children ≤3 years old.
678 twin infants from the Puerto Rico Neo-Natal Twin Registry were assessed for asthma at age 1 year, with follow-up data obtained for 624 twins at age 3 years. Zygosity was determined by DNA microsatellite profiling. Structural equation modeling was performed for three phenotypes at ages 1 and 3 years: physician-diagnosed asthma, asthma medication use in the past year, and ≥1 hospitalization for asthma in the past year. Models were additionally adjusted for early-life environmental tobacco smoke exposure, sex, and age.
The prevalences of physician-diagnosed asthma, asthma medication use, and hospitalization for asthma were 11.6%, 10.8%, 4.9% at age 1 year, and 34.1%, 40.1%, and 8.5% at 3 years, respectively. Shared environmental effects contributed to the majority of variance in susceptibility to physician-diagnosed asthma and asthma medication use in the first year of life (84%–86%), while genetic effects drove variance in all phenotypes (45%–65%) at age 3 years. Early-life environmental tobacco smoke, sex, and age contributed to variance in susceptibility.
Our longitudinal study in Puerto Rican twins demonstrates a changing contribution of shared environmental effects to liability for physician-diagnosed asthma and asthma medication use between ages 1 and 3 years. Early-life environmental tobacco smoke reduction could markedly reduce asthma morbidity in young Puerto Rican children.
Latino children of Caribbean descent remain at high risk for poorly controlled asthma. Controller medications improve asthma control; however, medication adherence remains suboptimal, particularly among minorities. This study assessed socioeconomic, family-based, and parent factors in medication adherence among children with asthma from Rhode Island (RI; Latino and non-Latino white [NLW]) and Puerto Rico.
Data collection occurred as part of a multicenter study of asthma disparities. Our sample included children (ages 7–16) prescribed objectively monitored controller medications (n = 277; 80 island Puerto Rico, 114 RI Latino, 83 RI NLW). Parents completed questionnaires regarding family background and beliefs about medications. Families participated in an interview regarding asthma management. Multilevel analyses (maximum likelihood estimates) accounting for children being nested within site and ethnic group assessed the contribution of social context, family, and parent variables to medication adherence.
Medication adherence differed by ethnic group (F2, 271 = 7.46, P < .01), with NLW families demonstrating the highest levels of adherence. Multilevel models indicated that parental beliefs about medication necessity and family organization regarding medication use were significant predictors of adherence, even for families below the poverty threshold. With family factors in the model, a substantial improvement in model fit occurred (Akaike Information Criterion change of 103.45).
Adherence to controller medications was lower among Latino children in our sample. Targeted interventions that capitalize on existing family resources, emphasize structure, and address parental beliefs about the importance of medications may be of benefit to families from different cultural backgrounds.
asthma; patient nonadherence; disparities
Puerto Ricans and African Americans share a significant proportion of African ancestry. Recent findings suggest that African ancestry influences lung function in African American adults.
To examine whether a greater proportion of African ancestry is associated with lower FEV1 and FVC in Puerto Rican children, independently of socioeconomic status (SES), healthcare access or key environmental/lifestyle (EL) factors.
Cross-sectional case-control study of 943 Puerto Rican children ages 6 to 14 years with (n=520) and without (n=423) asthma (defined as physician-diagnosed asthma and wheeze in the prior year) living in Hartford (CT, n=383) and San Juan (PR, n=560). We estimated the percentage of African racial ancestry in study participants using genome-wide genotypic data. We tested whether African ancestry is associated with FEV1 and FVC using linear regression. Multivariate models were adjusted for indicators of SES and healthcare, and selected EL exposures.
After adjustment for household income and other covariates, each 20% increment in African ancestry was significantly associated with lower pre-bronchodilator(BD) FEV1 (−105 ml, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −159 ml to −51 ml, P <0.001) and FVC (−133 ml, 95% CI −197 ml to −69 ml, P <0.001), and post-BD FEV1 (−152 ml, 95% CI=−210 ml to −94 ml, P <0.001) and FVC (−145 ml, 95% CI= −211 to −79 ml, P <0.001) in children with asthma. Similar but weaker associations were found for pre- and post-BD FEV1 (change for each 20% increment in African ancestry= −78 ml, 95% CI= −131 to −25 ml, P=0.004), and for post-BD FVC among children without asthma.
Genetic and/or EL factors correlated with African ancestry may influence childhood lung function in Puerto Ricans.
ancestry; FEV1; FVC; Puerto Ricans; childhood
Patterns of correlates, comorbidity and impairment associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and youth were examined in representative samples from the community and from treatment facilities serving medically indigent youth in Puerto Rico. Information from caretakers and youths was obtained using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, (version IV), measures of global impairment, and a battery of potential correlates. In the community (N=1,896) and the treated samples (N=763), 7.5 and 26.2% of the children, respectively, met criteria for DSM-IVADHD in the previous year. Although the prevalence rates and degree of impairment differed, the general patterns of correlates, comorbidity and impairment were similar in both populations. The exceptions were associated with conduct disorder, anxiety, impairment in the ADHD comorbid group, and age factors that appeared to be related to selection into treatment.
ADHD; Correlates; Prevalence; Comorbidity; Hispanic/Latino
The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule for children (WHODAS-Child) is a disability assessment instrument based on the WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for children and youth. It is modified from the original adult version specifically for use with children. The aim of this study was to assess the WHODAS-Child structure and metric properties in a community sample of children with and without reported psychosocial problems in rural Rwanda.
The WHODAS-Child was first translated into Kinyarwanda through a detailed committee translation process and back-translation. Cognitive interviewing was used to assess the comprehension of the translated items. Test-retest reliability was assessed in a group of 64 children. The translated WHODAS-Child was then administered to a final sample of 367 children in southern Kayonza district in rural southeastern Rwanda within a larger psychosocial assessment battery. The latent structure was assessed through confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability was evaluated in terms of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) and test-retest reliability (Pearson's correlation coefficient). Construct validity was explored by examining convergence between WHODAS-Child scores and mental disorder status, and divergence of WHODAS-Child scores with protective factors and prosocial behaviors. Concordance between parent and child scores was also assessed.
The six-factor structure of the WHODAS-Child was confirmed in a population sample of Rwandan children. Test-retest and inter-rater reliability were high (r = .83 and ICC = .88). WHODAS-Child scores were moderately positively correlated with presence of depression (r = .42, p<.001) and post-traumatic stress disorder (r = .31, p<.001) and moderately negatively correlated with prosocial behaviors (r = .47, p<.001). The Kinyarwanda version of the WHODAS-Child was found to be a reliable and acceptable self-report tool for assessment of functional impairment among children largely referred for psychosocial problems in the study district in rural Rwanda. Further research in low-resource settings and with more general populations is recommended.
Island Puerto Rican (PR) youth experience disproportionately high asthma and obesity rates compared with other racial/ethnic groups on the U.S. mainland. Previous research has demonstrated associations of chronic disease with psychiatric disorders. We examined the relationship among anxiety/depressive disorders, asthma and obesity in an epidemiological community sample of youth. The sample (n=656) was derived from the second wave of an island-wide probabilistic representative household sample of PR youth stratified and based on whether or not they had a diagnosis of asthma and/or depressive/anxiety disorder. For this study we used the subpopulation ages 10–19 years. Asthma and obesity were significantly related to higher odds of depressive/anxiety disorders in youth. Obesity moderated the relationship between asthma attacks and depressive/anxiety disorders. The relationship between asthma attack and higher odds for depressive/anxiety disorders was only present in the non-obese group. Among the obese, females show a significant increase from 11–36% in the prevalence of anxiety/depressive disorders. Asthma and obesity were highly prevalent and a significant association was found between asthma attack and depressive/anxiety disorders. The effects of asthma and obesity were not additive; the prevalence for psychiatric disorder for those having both conditions did not increase above the prevalence associated having only one of the conditions. Future studies should consider including longitudinal designs and examine the extent to which important variables not included in this study such as body image dissatisfaction, particularly among females, teasing and discrimination may moderate the relationship between obesity and depressive and anxiety disorders in youth.
To examine the population prevalence, patterns of onset, and important demographic covariates for dual (co-occurring) diagnoses of substance and non-substance mental disorders.
A nationally representative sample of U.S. Latino adults was interviewed face-to-face.
Estimates were made using data from the National Latino and Asian Services Survey (NLAAS) using the World Health Organization CIDI, DSM-IV criteria, for case ascertainment.
U.S. born Latinos are much more likely to report a dual diagnoses than are foreign born Latinos in both sexes; 16.88% vs. 5.02% for males (p<0.000), and 7.48% vs. 0.58% for women (p<.000). Total dual diagnoses prevalence was 6.79%, with non-substance mental disorder occurring first 70% of the time, with an earlier age of onset for U.S. Latinos. Immigrants were less likely to be positive for dual diagnoses (OR= 0.234, p=<0.0001), or any substance disorder diagnosis (OR=0.261, p=<.0001), if they reported lifetime substance use when compared to U.S. born Latinos.
Latino adults residing in the U.S. have one-fourth the risk of dual diagnoses compared to the U.S. population. Most of this difference is accounted for by lower rates of substance and non-substance disorders and a lower propensity for progression from substance use to substance use disorders, combined with a later age of onset for mental disorders among immigrants. Immigrant women rarely reported dual diagnoses. We recommend bio-behavioral models and transnational studies to identify life course factors contributing dual diagnoses among U.S. born Latinos.
epidemiology; minority groups; comorbidity; immigration
Objective To improve representation of minorities in research, we examined recruitment methods from our study of Latino and non-Latino families of children with Intellectual Disability (ID). Method We compared recruitment strategies that yielded the enrollment target of 200 matched Latino and nonLatino families of children with ID and controls. Active recruitment strategies involved direct contact with potential participants; passive strategies included disseminating study information. Results Effective outreach focused on community agencies where children had ongoing involvement and utilizing bilingual/bicultural staff. Latino families were significantly more likely to be recruited by an active strategy than non-Latino families. Active and passive strategies were both effective with non-Latino ID families. Asking research participants to inform other families about the study and sharing consent to contact lists with other investigators was productive with control families. Conclusions Bilingual staff and active recruitment through familiar community services were successful in recruiting Latino families for research.
family; Latino; minority recruitment
Objective This article presents a summary of findings from asthma studies focusing on immigration and acculturation-related factors. A study examining associations between these processes, family cohesion and social support networks, and asthma morbidity in a sample of Dominican and Puerto Rican caregivers residing in the mainland U.S., is also described. Methods Latino children with asthma (n = 232), ages 7–16 (49% female) and their caregivers completed interview-based questionnaires on immigration and acculturation-related processes, family characteristics, and asthma morbidity. Results The frequency of ED use due to asthma may be higher for children of caregivers born in Puerto Rico. Acculturative stress levels were higher for Puerto Rican born caregivers residing in the mainland U.S. Conclusion Asthma-related educational and intervention programs for Latino children and families should be tailored to consider the effects that the immigration and acculturation experience can have on asthma management. Specific family-based supports focused on decreasing stress related to the acculturation process, and increasing social and family support around the asthma treatment process may help to reduce asthma morbidity in Latino children.
acculturation; asthma morbidity; immigration
This article documents the initial development of a Spanish mental health quality of life (QOL) instrument based on the adolescents’ own assessment of important domains to their QOL. Using a grounded theory approach, we targeted five mental health disorders: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder (CD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
In-depth interviews (n=40) and three focus groups (n=20) were conducted and analyzed using qualitative methods to guide the development of items. A convenient sample of island Puerto Rican adolescents aged 12–18 was recruited from outpatient mental health clinics. Qualitative analysis revealed a total of 87 themes. They were distributed based on core QOL domains such as (1) Self (2) Peers, (3) Family (4) School, and (5) Environment. Items were written based on prevailing themes and using as closely as possible, words and phrases used by the adolescents to describe their views and perceptions of quality of life. The goal for the AQOL-MHS is to pinpoint specific areas of health related QOL for each psychiatric diagnostic group that will provide valuable information to assist both patients and providers set, define and evaluate adequate mental health treatment goals.
Quality of Life; Mental Health; Adolescents; Qualitative analysis
To examine the relation between mouse allergen exposure and asthma in Puerto Rican children.
Mus m 1, Der p 1, Bla g 2, and Fel d 1 allergens were measured in dust samples from homes of Puerto Rican children with (cases) and without (controls) asthma in Hartford, CT (n = 449) and San Juan (SJ), Puerto Rico (n = 678). Linear or logistic regression was used for the multivariate analysis of mouse allergen (Mus m 1) and lung function (FEV1 and FEV1/FVC) and allergy (total IgE and skin test reactivity (STR) to ≥1 allergen) measures.
Homes in SJ had lower mouse allergen levels than those in Hartford. In multivariate analyses, mouse allergen was associated with higher FEV1 in cases in Hartford (+70.6 ml, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 8.6–132.7 ml, P = 0.03) and SJ (+45.1 ml, 95% CI = −0.5 to 90.6 ml, P = 0.05). In multivariate analyses of controls, mouse allergen was inversely associated with STR to ≥1 allergen in non-sensitized children (odds ratio [OR] for each log-unit increment in Mus m 1 = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.5–0.9, P<0.01). In a multivariate analysis including all children at both study sites, each log-increment in mouse allergen was positively associated with FEV1 (+28.3 ml, 95% CI = 1.4–55.2 ml, P = 0.04) and inversely associated with STR to ≥1 allergen (OR for each log-unit increment in Mus m 1 = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.6–0.9, P<0.01).
Mouse allergen is associated with a higher FEV1 and lower odds of STR to ≥1 allergen in Puerto Rican children. This may be explained by the allergen itself or correlated microbial exposures.
The lifetime prevalence of self-reported asthma among Puerto Ricans is very high, with increased asthma hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and mortality rates. Differences in asthma severity between the mainland and island, however, remain largely unknown.
We sought to characterize differences in asthma severity and control among 4 groups: (1) Island Puerto Ricans, (2) Rhode Island (RI) Puerto Ricans, (3) RI Dominicans, and (4) RI whites.
Eight hundred five children aged 7 to 15 years completed a diagnostic clinic session, including a formal interview, physical examination, spirometry, and allergy testing. Using a visual grid adapted from the Global Initiative for Asthma, asthma specialists practicing in each site determined an asthma severity rating. A corresponding level of asthma control was determined by using a computer algorithm.
Island Puerto Ricans had significantly milder asthma severity compared with RI Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and whites (P < .001). Island Puerto Ricans were not significantly different from RI whites in asthma control. RI Puerto Ricans showed a trend toward less control compared with island Puerto Ricans (P = .061). RI Dominicans had the lowest rate of controlled asthma. Paradoxically, island Puerto Ricans had more emergency department visits in the past 12 months (P < .001) compared with the 3 RI groups.
Potential explanations for the paradoxic finding of milder asthma in island Puerto Ricans in the face of high health care use are discussed. Difficulties in determining guideline-based composite ratings for severity versus control are explored in the context of disparate groups.
Asthma; severity; control; clinical guidelines; Global Initiative for Asthma; Latino; Puerto Rican; Dominican; Rhode Island; health care use
Objective & Main Outcome Measures
This paper provides 2005–08 population-based prevalence data on obesity and overweight among youth residing in Puerto Rico.
Design & Setting
Data for this report are from the “Asthma, Depression, and Anxiety in Puerto Rican Youth” (ADA) study. Measures included height and weight level data on youth in Puerto Rico ages 10 to 19 with and without asthma as well as BMI data on their caregivers.
A total of 436 youth-caregiver dyads were selected and weighted to represent the general population of youth in Puerto Rico using 2008 U.S. Census data.
Household surveys demonstrated that 40% of youth ages 10 to 19 were overweight or obese. Twenty-five percent met moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity guidelines; however: physical activity was not associated with overweight or obesity in this sample. In multivariate analyses, females were 50% less likely than males to be overweight or obese. Older youth were 73% less likely to be overweight or obese than younger youth. Youth whose parents were obese were more than two times more likely to be overweight or obese than those whose parents were at a desirable weight.
Youth in Puerto Rico have higher rates of overweight and obesity and lower compliance to moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity guidelines than rates reported for youth on the mainland. More population-based research is needed to understand the epidemiology of obesity and overweight among island Puerto Rican youth and the contribution of physical activity to the phenomenon.
Child; Overweight/epidemiology; Obesity/epidemiology; Physical Activity; Prevalence; Puerto Rico/epidemiology
Siblings of children with disabilities are at risk for internalizing psychological disorders; however little is known about how culture influences this effect. This study examined the psychological and school functioning of Latino siblings of children with Intellectual Disability (ID).
Participants were 100 Latino (L) and nonLatino (NL) siblings (8–15 years) of children with ID (50 LID, 50 NLID) and 100 Latino and nonLatino control siblings (50 LC, 50 NLC). Siblings, parents, and teachers completed standard questionnaires regarding sibling emotional and behavioral functioning; sibling school report cards were obtained. Analyses of variance were conducted, controlling for parent age and family income; planned contrasts compared LID siblings to the other sibling groups.
LID siblings reported significantly more internalizing (t(1) = 2.41, p <.05) and emotional t(1) = 3.06, p <.05) symptoms, poorer awareness of (t(1) = 2.26, p <.01) and greater reluctance to express (t (1) = 3.12, p <.01) their emotions, and more problems in personal adjustment and relationships with parents (t(1) = −2.50, p <.05). Significantly higher percentages of LID siblings scored in the at-risk or clinical range for internalizing and emotional symptoms, and were more likely to score above the clinical cut-off for separation anxiety disorder and to endorse global impairment. LID siblings experienced more school absences and lower academic performance. There were no group differences in externalizing behavior problems, somatic symptoms, or teacher-reported internalizing symptoms.
Latino siblings of children with ID are at greater risk for internalizing psychological disorders and greater impairment in personal and school functioning. Results are discussed in terms of their sociocultural significance and clinical implications.
Siblings; intellectual disability; Latino; culture
The goal of this study was to assess whether the association between asthma attacks and anxiety disorders in youth/young adults is reduced after adjusting for caregivers’ psychiatric disorders. An island-wide probability sample of 641 households in Puerto Rico with youth/young adults between 10 and 25 years old participated along with their caregivers. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview were conducted to assess anxiety and depressive disorders. Youth/young adults with an anxiety disorder were more likely to have a lifetime history of asthma attacks versus youth/young adults without an anxiety disorder. Caregivers of participants with asthma attacks were more likely to have major depression than caregivers of participants without asthma attacks. The association between asthma attacks and anxiety disorders in youth was no longer significant after adjustment for caregiver major depression. It is important to consider the role of caregiver depression in asthma-anxiety comorbidity in youth/young adults.
anxiety; asthma; depression; mental health; Puerto Rican
This study examined the occurrence, correlates, and psychiatric co-morbidities of lifetime and 12-month intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and whether impairment due to IED differed across Latino groups. We used data on 2,554 Latino adults (75.5% response rate) from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of IED among Latinos were 5.8% and 4.1%, respectively. Unemployment was a common risk factor for both lifetime and 12-month IED. Protective factors for both lifetime and 12-month IED were having poor/fair English proficiency and being born outside the U.S. mainland. Cubans, Mexicans and other Latinos had lower odds of both lifetime and 12-month IED relative to Puerto Ricans, while Puerto Ricans with IED did not demonstrate worse impairment compared with the other groups with IED. Lifetime and 12-month IED were associated with several depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Given its significant association with a wide-range of mental disorders, future research should consider the validity of IED as a unique disorder or whether it is merely a constellation of symptoms that accompanies a variety of mental diseases.
Hispanic Americans; impulse control disorders; mental health; comorbidity; epidemiology
Little is known about paternal psychosocial factors and childhood asthma.
To examine the link between maternal and paternal psychosocial stress and asthma outcomes in young children.
Parents of 339 pairs of Puerto Rican twins were interviewed individually about their own psychosocial stress and about asthma in their children at age 1 and again about their child’s asthma at age 3. Fathers were asked about symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anti-social behavior. Mothers were asked about depressive symptoms. Outcomes assessed in children included recent asthma symptoms, oral steroid use and hospitalizations for asthma in the prior year, and asthma diagnosis. Generalized estimated equation models were used for the multivariate analysis of parental psychosocial stress and asthma morbidity in childhood.
After multivariable adjustment, paternal PTSD symptoms, depression, and anti-social behavior were each associated with increased asthma symptoms at age 1 (e.g., OR =1.08 for each 1-point increase in PTSD score, 95% CI=1.03–1.14). Maternal depressive symptoms were associated with an increased risk of asthma hospitalizations at age 1 year. At age 3 years, maternal depressive symptoms were associated with asthma diagnosis and hospitalizations for asthma (OR for each 1-point increase in symptoms=1.16, 95% CI=1.00–1.36]). In an analysis combining 1 and 3 year outcomes, paternal depression was associated with oral steroid use, maternal depressive symptoms were associated with asthma hospitalizations and asthma diagnosis, and parental depression was associated with hospitalizations for asthma.
Both paternal and maternal psychosocial factors may influence asthma morbidity in young Puerto Rican children.
psychosocial stress; childhood wheeze; Puerto Rico; parental stress; asthma; paternal stress