Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Life stress and psychosomatic symptoms among 14 to 16-year old Finnish adolescents

  • Hillevi Aro (a1)

School children (N = 2013) completed questionnaires in class on three occasions over a period of 17 months. Life stress data for 12 months were gathered retrospectively in the last questionnaire. Life events and interpersonal problems were associated with psychosomatic symptoms. In terms of change in symptoms, the impact of life events and interpersonal problems was demonstrated in boys but not in girls. Though boys with a history of no events or problems had lower symptom scores than girls, boys with a history of many events or problems caught up with the girls by the end of the follow-up period. On the other hand, symptom differences related to life stress scores were already apparent at the beginning of the study, and these differences were greater in girls than in boys.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr H. Aro, Department of Public Health, University of Tampere, Box 607, SF-33101 Tampere 10, Finland
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S. Aro & V. Häanninen (1984). Life events or life processes as determinants of mental strain? A 5-year follow-up study. Social Science and Medicine 18, 10371044.

J. R. Bedell , B. Giordani , J. L. Amour , J. Tavormina & T. Boll (1977). Life stress and the psychological and medical adjustment of chronically ill children. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 21, 237242.

G. W. Brown (1981). Life events, psychiatric disorder and physical illness. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 25, 461473.

R. D. Coddington (1972). The significance of life events as etiologic factors in the diseases of children. II A study of a normal population. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 16, 205213.

M. T. Gad & J. H. Johnson (1980). Correlates of adolescent life stress as related to race, SES, and levels of perceived social support. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 9, Spring, 1316.

J. C. Gersten , T. S. Langner , J. G. Eisenberg & O. Simcha-Fagan (1977). An evaluation of the etiologic role of stressful life-change events in psychological disorders. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 18, 228244.

J S. Heisel , S. Ream , R. Raitz , M. Rappaport & R. D. Coddington (1973). The significance of life events as contributing factors in the diseases of children. III. A study of pediatric patients. Journal of Pediatrics 83, 119123.

K. Hodges , J. Kline , G. Barbero & R. Flanery (1984). Life events occurring in families of children with recurrent abdominal pain. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 28, 185188.

T. H. Holmes & R. H. Rahe (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11, 213218.

G. T. Hotaling , S. G Atwell & A. S. Linsky (1978). Adolescent life changes and illness: a comparison of three models. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7, 393403.

R. C. Kessler (1983). Methodological issues in the study of psychosocial stress. In Psychosocial Stress. Trends in Theory and Research (ed. H. B. Kaplan ), pp. 267341. Academic Press: New York.

D. Mechanic (1983). Adolescent health and illness behavior: review of literature and a new hypothesis for the study of stress. Journal of Human Stress 9, 413.

M. Newcomb , G. Huba & P. Bentler (1981). A multidimensional assessment of stressful life events among adolescents: derivations and correlates. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 22, 400415.

J. G. Rabkin & E. L. Struening (1976). Life events, stress and illness. Science 194, 10131020.

M. Rauste-von Wright & J. von Wright (1981). A longitudinal study of psychosomatic symptoms in healthy 11–18 old girls and boys. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 25, 525534.

F. R. Rosenberg & R. G. Simmons (1975). Sex differences in the self-concept in adolescence. Sex Roles 1, 147159.

S. Sudman & N. Bradburn (1973). Effects of time and memory factors on response in surveys. Journal of the American Statistical Association 68, 344.

A. Tyerman & M. Humphrey (1983). Life stress, family support and adolescent disturbance. Journal of Adolescence 6, 112.

R C. Wildman (1978). Life change with college grades as a role-performance variable. Social Psychology 41, 3446.

L. K. Zeltzer & S. LeBaron (1984). Psychosomatic problems in adolescents: why they occur, how to intervene. Postgraduate Medicine 75, 153164.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 5 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 126 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.