Main Article Content
Allergy, behaviour, internalizing and externalizing, child, parent.
Introduction and objectives: The relationship between allergic diseases and behavioural disorders is still unclear. The objective of this study is to describe and compare children’s behaviour (internalising and externalising) across a sample of children between 6 and 11-years-old with and without allergic diseases.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional, observational case-control study that comprises a survey of 366 families (194 cases and 172 controls) including a Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) and a sociodemographic questionnaire with questions related to family, school education, health conditions, and allergy symptoms was administered.
Results: Children with a diagnosis of allergy showed higher scores in the overall CBCL score (standardised mean differences [SMD] = 0.47; CI: 0.26–0.68) and in the internalising and externalising factors (SMD = 0.52 and SMD = 0.36, respectively) than non-allergic children. Odds ratio analyses showed a higher risk (OR = 2.76; CI 95% [1.61 to 4.72]) of developing a behavioural difficulty in children diagnosed with allergies. Age and level of asthma appears as modulatory variables.
Conclusions: Children diagnosed with allergies at age 6 to 11 years show larger behavioural problems than non-allergic children, especially in internalising behaviours. These findings suggest the importance of attending to them and treating them in the early stages of the diagnosis to avoid future psychological disorders.
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