Asthma in African American adolescents is a significant public health problem. Self-management of their illness is often inadequate, which can lead to increased morbidity and mortality. Asthma self-management involves an array of behaviors such as symptom management, medication management, and controlling the environment. There is a need to investigate ways to improve adolescents'self-management. One potential framework to increase understanding and guide interventions is the illness representations concept from The Common Sense Self-Regulation Model . The model proposes that beliefs about an illness (i.e., illness representations) influence health behaviors and, subsequently, illness outcomes. Little is known about the relationship between illness representations and asthma self-management in adolescents with asthma. If adolescents'inaccurate illness representations (cognitive or emotional) about asthma are found to be associated with poor self-management behaviors, they would be excellent targets for nursing interventions because such beliefs would potentially be changeable. There has been little research examining how illness representations are related to asthma impairment and gender. Therefore, a descriptive correlational study will be conducted to achieve the following aims: (a) To explore differences in illness representations (cognitive and emotional) and self-management behaviors (symptom management, medication management, and environmental control) by gender and asthma impairment (well controlled, not well controlled, or very poorly controlled) of African American adolescents with asthma;(b) To explore relationships between illness representations (cognitive and emotional) and asthma self-management behaviors (symptom management, medication management, and environmental control) and their interactions with gender and asthma impairment in African American adolescents with asthma. Data will be collected through questionnaires with 120 African American adolescents. The findings will provide guidance for future interventions that improve African American adolescents'asthma self-management. Consistent with NINR's mission, this application is designed to enhance the goals of the predoctoral applicant to become an established researcher focusing on adolescents with asthma. Relevance: Asthma is a significant public health problem for African American adolescents. This study will provide an understanding of African American adolescents'beliefs about asthma as related to their asthma self-management. This understanding will guide the development of patient-centered interventions.
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