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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.
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- 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
- Springer US