Date of Conferral





Public Health


Clarence Schumaker, Jr.


In the United States, asthma remains a major cause of frequent urgent care visits, hospitalizations, and preventable deaths among children. Nationwide, the chronic disease continues to fall disproportionately on minorities, mostly residing in urban localities. When a child is diagnosed with asthma, the parents are typically tasked with managing the child's condition. Establishing a collaborative partnership between parents and their child's primary physician is significant for improving asthma self-management among youth. Using the theory of reasoned action as a theoretical framework, this mixed-methods study examined whether a relationship exists between parental perceptions of physician cultural sensitivity and parental care in asthma treatment adherence. Phenomenology was used to explore the real-world experiences of study five ethnic minority parents and one guardian grandparent of asthmatic children aged 0–17 who shared similar perspectives. Descriptive surveys were used in combination with in-depth interviews to develop an understanding of parental perceptions on physician cultural sensitivity related to asthma treatment adherence. Overall, 108 minority parents were eligible to complete the survey. The study findings revealed that parents who feel recognized, valued, and respected by their child's physician were more likely to be engaged in shared decision-making about treatment. The findings support the potential for positive social change in terms of modifying the health care behaviors of minority parents with asthmatic children, increasing parental self-efficacy in managing their child's asthma, and improving the cultural sensitivity of physicians who serve the needs of diverse minority families.