Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley


The purpose of this study was to differentiate between asthmatics whose daily symptoms are related to daily stress level (stress responders) and those whose symptoms have no apparent relation to stress (stress nonresponders) and to indentify differences between the two groups. Using correlational procedures, 15 stress responders and 19 stress nonresponders were identified and compared along various dimensions. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and covariance (MANCOVA) procedures revealed no significant differences between the two groups with respect to affective/emotional responding, clinical symptomatology, or cognitions about illness and asthma. In addition, regression models using the Asthma Symptom Checklist Panic-Fear subscale, a measure of depression, and a measure of anxiety were unable to successfully predict asthma symptom severity. Discriminant analyses also showed that these variables were unable to successfully differentiate between the two groups. These results call into question the validity of the responder/nonresponder distinction. There is a need however, for a more comprehensive assessment measuring physiological, psychophysiological, and other dimensions of responding before abandoning research on this distinction. This idea, along with other ideas for future research are discussed.