Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Joel Erblich Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandeep Prasada

Academic Program Adviser

Dr. Sandeep Prasada


Current literature indicates a strong association between asthma and the early onset of comorbid generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in minors and their primary caregivers. Studies show that asthma prevalence increases with certain demographic factors, such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and housing quality. Evidence also suggests that GAD influences decision-making, especially when deciding to utilize emergency room (ER) services for asthma-related concerns. This study analyzed the effect of comorbid GAD on minors with asthma and ER utilization. The data were provided by an earlier Stress & Justice Study (S&J) baseline survey, an investigation aimed at understanding the impact of parental criminal justice system involvement (CJSI) on the mental health of their children. The S&J study was conducted through the Global Psychiatric Epidemiology Group at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Our study found that asthma in minor participants was associated with a significant increase in the number of GAD symptoms in their primary caregivers, but not in the minors themselves. Additionally, a significant correlation with a moderate positive trend was observed between the number of reported GAD symptoms in the children and the number of trips to their local ER within the year before the survey. In contrast to many modern studies, this study does not provide strong evidence for associations between comorbid asthma and GAD in minors. Future studies on comorbid GAD and asthma should consider recruiting participants from rural counties for similarities in morbidity with participants from urban environments.



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