Somatic complaints and symptoms of anxiety and depression in a school-based sample of preadolescents and early adolescents. functional impairment and implications for treatment

Teodora C. Zolog, Ma Claustre Jane-Ballabriga, Albert Bonillo-Martin, Josefa Canals-Sans, Carmen Hernández-Martínez, Kelly Romero-Acosta, Eldemira Domenech-Llaberia

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the associations between somatization and specific somatic complaints on one hand, and symptoms of general anxiety, depression and types of anxiety symptoms (separation, generalized and social phobia symptoms) on the other. We also document the two-week prevalence of specific somatic complaints and investigate if there is a functional impairment in frequently complaining children. A cluster sampling procedure was used for this cross-sectional study with 1,514 randomly selected 4thto 6thgrade pupils from Catalonia (Spain). Information about anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms was collected by means of self-report. Our results indicate that the most prevalent somatic symptoms were abdominal pain (11.2%) and headaches (10.1%). Through logistic regression analysis, positive significant associations were found between general anxiety, depression symptoms, separation and social phobia symptoms on one hand, and somatization on the other hand; and between separation anxiety symptoms and headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, tiredness, and dizziness. Frequently complaining children have more impairment in their activity at home, school and in relationships with peers. Thus, there are relationships among somatization, symptoms of anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Increased functional impairment in children with somatic complaints highlights the importance of developing useful interventions. Cognitive-behavioral interventions as well as family therapy are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-208
JournalJournal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies
Volume11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Functional impairment
  • Somatization

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    Zolog, T. C., Jane-Ballabriga, M. C., Bonillo-Martin, A., Canals-Sans, J., Hernández-Martínez, C., Romero-Acosta, K., & Domenech-Llaberia, E. (2011). Somatic complaints and symptoms of anxiety and depression in a school-based sample of preadolescents and early adolescents. functional impairment and implications for treatment. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, 11(2), 191-208.