Functional somatic symptoms in a Spanish sample: Psychopathology and educational styles

R. Serra, M. Claustre Jané, A. Bonillo

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Although there are many studies on functional somatic symptoms (FSS), there are few conducted with Spanish samples. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of frequent functional somatic symptoms in a Spanish sample, and to look for relationships with psychopathology and parenting styles. Patients and methods: The sample consisted of 672 participants from 6 to 8 years-old attending primary school in the region of Osona (Catalonia, Spain). The parents reported on the presence of FSS in children, school absence, paediatric visits; psychiatric symptoms, and parenting styles. Children who complained of frequent somatic symptoms (four or more in the previous fortnight) were compared with children who did not complain. Results: A total of 429 of the 672 (63.8%) children had at least one physical complaint during the two weeks prior to the study. Almost one quarter (162, 24.1%) of the participants had frequent FSS. Significant relationships were found with, separation anxiety, social phobia, and visits to the paediatrician. A small effect of overprotection/control parenting style on FSS was observed. Conclusions: Functional somatic symptoms are common in a Spanish sample of children between 6 to 8 years-old. These children may be considered a risk group for future emotional distress. It is also important for future research to clarify the nature of the relationship between overprotection and FSS. © 2012 Asociación Española de Pediatría. Published by Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
JournalAnales de Pediatria
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Children
  • Parenting styles
  • Psychopathology
  • Somatic complaints


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