Adolescent versus parent reports on asthma and asthma symptoms

Orly Romano-Zelekha*, Yael Graif, Serine Sultan, Irit Livne, Tamy Shohat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Epidemiological studies of asthma in adolescence commonly rely on self-reports. This study aimed to compare adolescent and parent reports regarding the presence of asthma and asthma symptoms in two ethnic groups, Jews and Arabs, living in the same country. Methods: Eighth-grade pupils attending five schools in Tel Aviv and four schools in two Arab cities in Israel were asked to complete the self-report International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire in the classroom. Their parents were interviewed by telephone using the parental ISAAC questionnaire. We assessed prevalence rates of asthma and asthma symptoms according to adolescent and parent responses. Agreement between adolescents and parents was assessed by Cohen's kappa coefficient. Results: Adolescents reported more asthma and asthma symptoms than their parents in both the Jewish (327 adolescent-parent pairs) and the Arab (335 adolescent-parent pairs) groups. Both groups showed moderate adolescent-parent chance-corrected agreement for current asthma (kappa 0.59 in Jews, 0.52 in Arabs, P = 0.60) and lifetime asthma (kappa 0.53 Jews, 0.44 in Arabs, P = 0.33); and slight to fair chance-corrected agreement for asthma symptoms. There were no statistically significant differences between the Jewish and Arab populations in chance-corrected agreement for any of the parameters assessed. Conclusions: Jewish and Arab adolescents more often report asthma and asthma symptoms than do their parents. This seems to be a cross-cultural phenomenon. Therefore, particular attention should be paid to the source of information when comparing prevalence of asthma and asthma symptoms across studies. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2017;52:154–159.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-159
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • adolescents
  • asthma
  • kappa
  • parents


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