Asthma is the most common chronic illness among children in the United States. Poverty and asthma are tightly related, with poor children having higher rates of asthma than non-poor children. To document how poor parents with asthmatic children cope with health care-related barriers on a day-to-day basis, the author conducted 38 in-depth interviews with central city Phoenix (Arizona) parents. Barriers facing parents include a lack of health insurance and/or personal transportation, the expense of using private insurance, treatment delays, and language/communication. Instances of parents overcoming barriers are highlighted and offered as opportunities for designing capacity building interventions and policies that build on parents’ strengths.


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