Somatic symptoms, peer and school stress, and family and community violence exposure among urban elementary school children

Shayla L. Hart, Stacy C. Hodgkinson, Harolyn M.E. Belcher, Corine Hyman, Michele Cooley-Strickland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Somatic symptoms are a common physical response to stress and illness in childhood. This study assessed 409, primarily African American (85.6 %), urban elementary school children to examine the association between: (1) somatic symptoms and potential external stressors (school and peer stress, family conflict, and community violence) and (2) parent and child agreement on children's self-report of somatic symptoms. The odds of self-report of somatic complaints were significantly associated with family conflict, school and peer stress, and community violence exposure (OR = 1.26, 95 % CI: 1.05-1.50; OR = 1.18, 95 % CI 1.08-1.28; and OR = 1.02, 95 % CI: 1.00-1.05, respectively). Identifying the associations between social, family, and community based stress and somatic symptoms may improve the quality of life for children living in urban environments through early identification and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-465
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

Keywords

  • African American
  • Family conflict
  • Minority
  • Peer relations
  • Somatic symptoms
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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