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Childhood asthma is highly prevalent, affecting approximately nine million children in the United States. Negative effects of pediatric asthma are disproportionately experienced by ethnic minorities living in low-income, urban settings. Given the great diversity in families' ways of addressing children's asthma symptoms, sociocultural factors underlying asthma disparities must be examined. The current study investigated associations among parents' beliefs about conventional and holistic/alternative medications, parents' religious problem-solving strategies and childrens' risks for asthma treatment nonadherence. The sample included 66 parents of ethnically diverse children with asthma living in urban settings. Factor analysis of the Religious Problem Solving Questionnaire yielded two factors, self-directed (ie, solving problems independently of God) and God-involved problem solving. Parents' strong positive beliefs about conventional and alternative medications were associated with greater self-directed problem solving and with more risks for nonadherence. Higher levels of self-directed problem solving also were associated with more risks for nonadherence. Self-directed problem solving mediated the associations of conventional and alternative medication beliefs with risks for nonadherence. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.
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