Effects of Primary Child Care Arrangement on Asthma in Preschool-Aged Children Dependent on Poverty Status
Danielle Gordon, University of Texas at San Antonio
P. Johnelle Sparks, University of Texas at San Antonio
Asthma is determined by genetic and environmental factors, and one important environment is the child care setting. This study examined the association between child care and asthma diagnosis using the preschool wave of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Birth Cohort. Differences in care arrangements by sociodemographic characteristics were noted using chi-square tests. Preschool children were mostly in center-based care compared to other types of care; low-income, unmarried mothers with less education relied more on parental or relative care. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between primary child care arrangement, sociodemographic characteristics, and other risk factors on asthma diagnosis. For all children, center-based care (among other factors) was associated with an asthma diagnosis. When stratified by poverty status, different patterns emerged. First, the effect of child care was only significant for low-income families. Additionally, other sociodemographic characteristics predicted asthma for low-income children but not for non-low-income children.