The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development issued a federal grant to Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center and Hasbro Children’s Hospital researchers (Providence, RI) to study the impact of asthma on the sleep quality and academic performance of young children. The 5-year grant includes more than $2.5 million in direct costs.

Pediatric researchers, led by Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, PhD, will evaluate the connection between asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms, sleep quality, and school functioning in urban elementary school children between the ages of 7 and 9. As part of this longitudinal study, researchers will monitor children’s sleep quality, nasal peak flow (to capture changes in rhinitis symptoms), and lung function (to document changes in asthma symptoms) for 1 month, three times a year. They also will collect academic performance indicators from the children’s schools, based on reports from teachers and school nurses, over the course of the year.

Working in collaboration with school districts in the greater Providence area, the investigators will also look at how family and cultural risks, such as family management of asthma and allergic rhinitis and asthma-related fear, may contribute to these associations.

“We propose that asthma-related sleep interruptions and/or frequent school absences due to asthma symptoms may make a difference in how well these children do in school,” said Koinis-Mitchell, a child psychologist with the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center.