Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

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

  • Hillevi Aro (a1)
Synopsis
Synopsis

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.

Copyright
Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr H. Aro, Department of Public Health, University of Tampere, Box 607, SF-33101 Tampere 10, Finland
References
Hide All
Aro S. (1981). Stress, morbidity and health-related behaviour. A five-year follow-up study among metal industry employees. Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine Suppl 25.
Aro S. & Häanninen V. (1984). Life events or life processes as determinants of mental strain? A 5-year follow-up study. Social Science and Medicine 18, 10371044.
Bebbington P., Tennant C., Sturt E. & Hurry J. (1984). The domain of life events: a comparison of two techniques of description. Psychological Medicine 14, 219222.
Bedell J. R., Giordani B., Amour J. L., Tavormina J. & Boll T. (1977). Life stress and the psychological and medical adjustment of chronically ill children. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 21, 237242.
Briscoe M. (1982). Sex Differences in Psychological Well-being. Psychological Medicine Monograph Suppl. 1. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Brown G. W. & Harris T. (1978). Social Origins of Depression. A Study of Psychiatric Disorders in Women. Tavistock Publications: London.
Brown G. W. (1981). Life events, psychiatric disorder and physical illness. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 25, 461473.
Coddington R. D. (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.
Cohen F. (1979). Personality, stress and the development of physical illness. In Health Psychology: A Handbook. (ed. Stone G. C., Cohen F. and Adler N E.), pp. 77101. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.
Dohrenwend B. P. (1974). Problems in defining and sampling the relevant population of stressful life events. In Stressful Life Events. Their Nature and Effects (ed. Dohrenwend B. S. and Dohrenwend B. P.), pp. 275310. Wiley: New York.
Dohrenwend B. S. & Dohrenwend B. P. (1984). Life stress and illness: formulation of the issues. In Stressful Life Events & Their Contexts. Series in Psychosocial Epidemiology, Vol. 2. (ed. Dohrenwend B S. and Dohrenwend B. P.), pp. 127. Rutgers University Press: New Jersey.
Erikson E. H. (1977). Childhood and Society. Triad Paladin: Frogmore.
Gad M. T. & Johnson J. H. (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.
Gersten J. C., Langner T. S., Eisenberg J. G. & Orzeck L. (1974). Child behavior and life events: Undesirable change or change perse? In Stressful Life Events. Their Nature and Effects (ed. Dohrenwend B. S and Dohrenwend B. P.), pp. 159170. Wiley: New York.
Gersten J. C., Langner T. S., Eisenberg J. G. & Simcha-Fagan O. (1977). An evaluation of the etiologic role of stressful life-change events in psychological disorders. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 18, 228244.
Heisel J S., Ream S., Raitz R., Rappaport M. & Coddington R. D. (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.
Hodges K., Kline J., Barbero G. & Flanery R. (1984). Life events occurring in families of children with recurrent abdominal pain. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 28, 185188.
Holmes T. H. & Rahe R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11, 213218.
Hotaling G. T., Atwell S. G & Linsky A. S. (1978). Adolescent life changes and illness: a comparison of three models. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7, 393403.
Hudgens R. W. (1974). Personal catastrophe and depression. In Stressful Life Events. Their Nature and Effects (ed. Dohrenwend B. S. and Dohrenwend B. P.). pp. 119134. Wiley: New York.
Johnson J. H. & McCutcheon S. (1980). Assessing life stress in older children and adolescents: preliminary findings with the life events checklist. In Stress and Anxiety, Vol. 7 (ed. Sarason I. G. and Spielberger C. D.), pp. 111125. Hemisphere: Washington.
Kessler R. C. (1983). Methodological issues in the study of psychosocial stress. In Psychosocial Stress. Trends in Theory and Research (ed. Kaplan H. B.), pp. 267341. Academic Press: New York.
Mechanic D. (1983). Adolescent health and illness behavior: review of literature and a new hypothesis for the study of stress. Journal of Human Stress 9, 413.
Newcomb M., Huba G. & Bentler P. (1981). A multidimensional assessment of stressful life events among adolescents: derivations and correlates. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 22, 400415.
Paykel E. S. (1978). Contribution of life events to causation of psychiatric illness. Psychological Medicine 8, 245253.
Rabkin J. G. & Struening E. L. (1976). Life events, stress and illness. Science 194, 10131020.
Rauste-von Wright M. & von Wright J. (1981). A longitudinal study of psychosomatic symptoms in healthy 11–18 old girls and boys. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 25, 525534.
Rimpelä M., Rimpelä A. & Pasanen M. (1982). Perceived symptoms among 12–18 year old Finns. Journal of Social Medicine 19, 219233. (In Finnish, English summary.)
Rosenberg F. R. & Simmons R. G. (1975). Sex differences in the self-concept in adolescence. Sex Roles 1, 147159.
Rutter M. (1979). Protective factors in children's responses to stress and disadvantage. In Primary Prevention of Psychopathology, Vol. 3: Social Competence in Children (ed. Kent M. W. and Rolf J. E.), pp. 4974. University Press of New England: Hanover.
Rutter M. (1982). Epidemiological–longitudinal approaches to the study of development. In The Concept of Development: Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology (ed. Collins W. A.), pp. 105144. Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ.
Rutter M. (1983). Stress, coping and development: some issues and some questions. In Stress, Coping and Development in Children (ed. Garmezy N. and Rutter M.), pp. 141. McGraw-Hill: New York.
Saari S. (1981). The Prediction and Explanation of the Changes in Students' Mental Health During the First Three University Years. YTHS: Helsinki. (In Finnish, English summary.)
Sudman S. & Bradburn N. (1973). Effects of time and memory factors on response in surveys. Journal of the American Statistical Association 68, 344.
Tyerman A. & Humphrey M. (1983). Life stress, family support and adolescent disturbance. Journal of Adolescence 6, 112.
Wildman R C. (1978). Life change with college grades as a role-performance variable. Social Psychology 41, 3446.
Zeltzer L. K. & LeBaron S. (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? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 185 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.