Living conditions and psychosomatic complaints in Swedish schoolchildren

Stockholm University, Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
Acta Paediatrica (Impact Factor: 1.84). 08/2006; 95(8):929-34. DOI: 10.1080/08035250600636545
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The proportion of Swedish schoolchildren that reports psychosomatic complaints has increased during recent decades, parallel to major structural changes in Swedish society.
To investigate the association of psychosomatic complaints in relation to household socio-economic conditions.
Cross-sectional study based on data from child supplements linked to nationally representative household surveys in Sweden during 2000-2003, covering a sample of 5390 children aged 10-18 y. Symptom variables were based on child interviews, while data from parental interviews were used to create socio-economic variables.
Girls more often reported headache and recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) than boys, and these differences became more pronounced with age. Economic stress in the household was associated with headache (OR 1.21, p<0.05), RAP (OR 1.46, p<0.001) as well as difficulties falling asleep (OR 1.35, p<0.01), while there were no consistent associations between symptoms and social class or unemployed parents. Children in single-parent families consistently reported somewhat more symptoms than children in two-parent families (OR 1.26 for at least two of the three symptoms, p<0.05).
Economic stress, but not social class, was a significant but moderate risk factor for all three psychosomatic symptoms. It is possible that a growing proportion of families in economic stress has contributed to the parallel increase in reported psychosomatic complaints among Swedish schoolchildren. Further studies are needed to clarify the relation between lack of money, relational strain/support and psychosomatic complaints.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For asthma and psychological morbidity, it is well established that higher prevalence among males in childhood is replaced by higher prevalence among females by adolescence. This review investigates whether there is evidence for a similar emerging female 'excess' in relation to a broad range of physical morbidity measures. Establishing whether this pattern is generalised or health outcome-specific will further understandings of the aetiology of gender differences in health. Databases (Medline; Embase; CINAHL; PsycINFO; ERIC) were searched for English language studies (published 1992-2010) presenting physical morbidity prevalence data for males and females, for at least two age-bands within the age-range 4-17 years. A three-stage screening process (initial sifting; detailed inspection; extraction of full papers), was followed by study quality appraisals. Of 11 245 identified studies, 41 met the inclusion criteria. Most (n = 31) presented self-report survey data (five longitudinal, 26 cross-sectional); 10 presented routinely collected data (GP/hospital statistics). Extracted data, supplemented by additional data obtained from authors of the included studies, were used to calculate odds ratios of a female excess, or female:male incident rate ratios as appropriate. To test whether these changed with age, the values were logged and regressed on age in random effects meta-regressions. These showed strongest evidence of an emerging/increasing female excess for self-reported measures of headache, abdominal pain, tiredness, migraine and self-assessed health. Type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, based on routinely collected data, did not show a significant emerging/increasing female excess. For most physical morbidity measures reviewed, the evidence broadly points towards an emerging/increasing female excess during the transition to adolescence, although results varied by morbidity measure and study design, and suggest that this may occur at a younger age than previously thought.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 12/2012; 78(C). DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.11.039 · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 12/2012; 40(9 Suppl):255-67. DOI:10.1177/1403494812459610 · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • International journal of adolescence and youth 12/2012; DOI:10.1080/02673843.2012.743920