Date of Award

2006-11-01

Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Anita J. Hunter, PhD, RN, Chairperson; Jane Georges, PhD, RN; Patricia Harvard, EdD, RN

Keywords

adolescents, African Americans, asthma, inner city, nursing, phenomenology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the lived experience of African-American adolescents with asthma who reside in an inner city community. The research in this area of interest is sparse, yet the morbidity and mortality rates related to asthma within the African-American population are greater than the general population. This study offers the experience of living with asthma from the perspective of the young African-American adolescent. Using phenomenological methodology, the nurse researcher selected 13 African-American adolescents; aged 12 to 15, who reside and attend middle school in the inner city. All of the participants had a confirmed medical diagnosis of asthma with varying severity. All had health insurance and were examined by their healthcare provider on an ongoing basis. The purposive sample represented variations in the adolescents' family structure. The principles of hermeneutic phenomenology guided the analysis of the data collections in 30 to 45 minutes, audio-taped interviews with each adolescent. The following themes emerged during the data analysis process: My Asthma, My Life; describing the adolescents' knowledge of the disorder and the self-developed strategies used to live a "normal" life with asthma. The second theme: My Asthma, My World gives the adolescents' accounts of their relationships with others including family members and peers and how they have come to develop their terms with asthma without personification of the disorder. The two themes constitute the foundation for the core theme: My Asthma, My Way; the lived experience of the African-American adolescents with asthma who resides in an inner city community. This research indicates that African-American adolescents with asthma who reside in the inner city are aware of the disorder and respond to their bodies' symptoms to quickly resolve and prevent the effects of asthma on their daily life. The implications for nursing education, future research, and nursing practice are discussed.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access

Department

Nursing

Included in

Nursing Commons

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