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Rationale: The relationship between adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress and asthma risk has been previously described in the literature among adult and pediatric populations. Studies have identified experiences of racism as a chronic stressor associated with asthma morbidity however, most studies have focused primarily on adults or parental perspectives. We initiated a pilot study to characterize described experiences of racism among Black/African American children with persistent asthma and describe some of our initial results. Methods: Children were asked to complete the “Perceptions of Racism in Children and Youth,” a validated questionnaire, measuring perceptions of racism and discrimination. Responses were analyzed for frequency of shared responses. Results: Ten children ages 7-17 years completed the survey. 100% of participants(n=10) endorsed experiencing at least one racist or discriminatory event ranging in frequency from once to weekly. Overall, 60% of children endorsed “being called an insulting name”; 20% endorsed “being watched closely or followed around by security guard at a store/mall”; 20% endorsed “having the feeling someone was afraid of them”; 30% endorsed “someone making an insulting remark about one’s race ethnicity, or language”;10% endorsed “seeing one’s family being treated unfairly due to race, skin color, accent or culture differences.” Conclusions: Initial data from this ongoing pilot study demonstrates that children with asthma endorse a broad range of experiences of racism. Intentional efforts are needed to raise awareness of racism as a chronic, toxic stressor experienced by children with asthma and efforts should be made to mitigate the impact on asthma morbidity.


Allergy and Immunology | Pediatrics


Presented at 2023 American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Meeting; San Antonio, TX; February 24-27, 2023.

Experiences of Racism among Black and African Children with Asthma