Date of Conferral





Public Health


Mark White


Asthma among children has become an inherent problem in many communities in the United States, especially among the minority population. The South Bronx has a large minority population and a high prevalence of asthma. However, no study to date has explored the factors associated with this high prevalence rates in this population. Drawing from theories of social ecology and environmental health, the objective of this quantitative cross-sectional study is to investigate the correlates of asthma among children in the South Bronx by studying the sociodemographic and environmental risk factors, including parental occupation; neighborhood and housing characteristics, air quality, and poverty. Study participants included parents of 400 children, aged between 4 and 16 years residing in Districts 9 and 10 in the South Bronx. Descriptive, Chi-square statistics, and logistic regression analysis were used to determine the association between exposure constructs and asthma in children. Hypotheses 2 and 3 examined environmental conditions both inside and outside the homes of study participants and determined one factor, the structure of the home to be significantly associated with asthma, while absence of extractor fan when cooking, showed a strong association. This result suggests that only some of the factors indicating conditions inside the homes have a positive association to asthma. This suggests that asthma is not a combined action of both socioeconomic and environmental factors but a result of conditions in the homes. The implication here is that any intervention to asthma has to start in the homes since most children spend their time indoors. This includes creating awareness to risk factors to help develop community based intervention programs that will help reduce occurrence of asthma.