Functional somatic symptoms: A cross-ethnic comparison

Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.36). 11/1992; 62(4):605-12. DOI: 10.1037/h0079376
Source: PubMed


Type, distribution, and comorbidity of functional somatic symptoms were examined in four community samples, three Hispanic and one non-Hispanic white. Important intergroup and intragroup differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white groups were identified. Of the four groups, Puerto Rican respondents reported the highest level of somatic symptoms; this finding was apparently independent of sociodemographic factors.

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    • "In general, our findings confirm the higher risk of somatization in South Americans previously found in a smaller sample (Aragona et al. 2005). The outcome is also consistent with previous studies reporting higher somatization rates among Hispanics in the USA (Canino et al. 1992, Hulme 1996) and in native South American primary care patients (Gureje et al. 1997). However, the finding that the risk of somatization in Africans and South Americans was not significantly different is not consistent with previous surveys. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim. To study somatization in a large sample of immigrants attending a first visit to a primary care service. Differences in somatization among four large immigrant groups (Europeans, Asians, South Americans, and Africans) and 16 subgroups based on nationality were assessed. Design. A total of 3105 patients were asked to participate in the study, of whom 3051 completed the 21-item version of the Bradford Somatic Inventory (BSI-21). Patients scoring 14 or higher on the BSI-21 were considered to be somatizers. A multiple logistic regression analysis adjusting for intervening variables tested the relative risk of somatization in and among the groups. Results. Among the 3051 patients who completed the BSI-21, 782 (25.6%) were somatizers. Somatizers were significantly more prevalent among South Americans (30.1%). After adjusting for covariates, Asians and Europeans, but not Africans, showed a significantly lower risk of somatization compared to South Americans. Among national subgroups, somatization occurred more frequently in Peruvians (32.9%). Compared to Peruvians, migrants from Eastern Europe, Morocco, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and El Salvador demonstrated a significantly lower risk of somatization. Conclusions. Approximately one-fourth of socially disadvantaged immigrants who accessed primary care services used somatization to express their distress. However, the likelihood of somatization varied widely among the different groups, and was significantly higher in South Americans and in some African groups, and lower in some Asian groups.
    Ethnicity and Health 02/2012; 17(5). DOI:10.1080/13557858.2012.661406 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    • "Children living in Puerto Rico had higher levels of parent-reported asthma, abdominal pain, and headaches than Puerto Rican children in the Bronx. This site difference is consistent with the adult literature showing that island Puerto Ricans have the highest rates of somatic symptoms across racial/ethnic groups (Canino et al., 1992; Escobar et al., 1989; Shrout et al., 1992). Differences in acculturation and exposure to parents who are more likely to somatize may contribute to these differences between island and mainland Puerto Rican children on functionally somatic disorders, such as tension headaches and recurrent abdominal pain. "
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    ABSTRACT: To examine associations among Puerto Rican children's physical health problems and children's internalizing disorders, parental psychopathology and acculturative stress, and family factors. A population-based probability sample of 2491 Puerto Rican children, aged between 5 and 13 years, and caregivers from the South Bronx and the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico participated in this study. The parent version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV was used to assess children's internalizing disorders. Children's anxiety disorders, parental psychopathology, and acculturative stress were associated with childhood asthma, abdominal pain, and headaches. Children's depressive disorders, maternal acceptance, and family functioning were associated with abdominal pain and headaches. Parents of children living in Puerto Rico were more likely to report physical health problems in their children than in the Bronx. Children's internalizing disorders, parental psychopathology, and acculturative stress may be important areas to target among Puerto Rican children with physical health problems.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 04/2010; 198(4):272-9. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181d61271 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    • "Alternatively, contextual differences in how asthma related to anxiety and depression might be due to differences in parents' response styles. Research has shown that island Puerto Ricans report higher rates of somatization than other groups [47] [48], partly because in the Puerto Rican culture, reporting physical and emotional symptoms is not considered undesirable [49]. This acquiescent response style might attenuate in parents in NY as they acculturate to the US culture. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have examined the factors associated with juvenile delinquency, but this literature remains limited largely because it has not moved beyond traditional factors generally and because of the lack of research conducted on minority—especially Hispanic—youth. This study seeks to overcome these two limitations by using data from a longitudinal study of 2,491 Hispanic (Puerto Rican) youth ages 5–13 (48.5% female) socialized in two different cultural contexts, Bronx, New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico, in an effort to examine the relationship between parental suicidality and offspring delinquency. Results indicate that while traditional risk/protective factors and parental mental health issues relate to delinquency in expected ways, youths whose parents attempted suicide engaged in more frequent and varied delinquency over time. Implications for theory and future research are addressed.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 03/2010; 39(3):315-325. DOI:10.1007/s10964-009-9439-3 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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