Child Allergic Symptoms and Well-Being at School: Findings from ALSPAC, a UK Cohort StudyReport as inadecuate

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Eczema and asthma are common conditions in childhood that can influence children’s mental health. Despite this, little is known about how these conditions affect the well-being of children in school. This study examines whether symptoms of eczema or asthma are associated with poorer social and mental well-being in school as reported by children and their teachers at age 8 years.


Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Measures of child well-being in school were child-reported n = 6626 and teacher reported n = 4366: children reported on their enjoyment of school and relationships with peers via a self-complete questionnaire; teachers reported child mental well-being using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire binary outcomes were high ‘internalizing’ anxious-depressive and ‘externalizing’ oppositional-hyperactive problems high was >90th percentile. Child rash and wheeze status were maternally reported and symptoms categorised as: ‘none’; ‘early onset transient’ infancy-preschool only; ‘persistent’ infancy-preschool and at school age; and ‘late onset’ school age only.


Children with persistent OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.63 and late onset OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.14 rash were more likely to report being bullied, and children with persistent wheeze to feel left out OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.84. Late onset rash was associated with high teacher-reported internalising behaviours OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.54, and persistent rash with high externalising behaviours OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.84. Child sleep and maternal mental health explained some of the associations with teacher-reported mental well-being.


Symptoms of eczema or asthma can adversely affect a child’s social and mental well-being at primary school. This suggests interventions, such as additional support or education of peers, should begin at early stages in schooling.

Author: Alison Teyhan , Bruna Galobardes, John Henderson



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