Physically Abused Children Report Higher Levels of Psychosomatic Symptoms – ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2012)
Children who display multiple psychosomatic symptoms, such as regular aches and pains and sleep and appetite problems, are more than twice as likely to be experiencing physical abuse at home than children who do not display symptoms, according to a study in the March edition of Acta Paediatrica.
Swedish researchers who studied 2,510 children aged 10, 12 and 15 from 44 schools found a strong association between reported physical abuse and three or more psychosomatic symptoms. The association was highest in children who were physically abused and also witnessed intimate partner violence (IPV). However, there was no significant association between IPV on its own and multiple symptoms….
“Our study demonstrates a clear association between high levels of psychosomatic symptoms and an increased risk of physical abuse” says Professor Janson. “The association was even stronger in abused children who also witnessed intimate partner violence at home.
Carolina Jernbro, Birgitta Svensson, Ylva Tindberg, Staffan Janson. Multiple psychosomatic symptoms can indicate child physical abuse – results from a study of Swedish schoolchildren. Acta Paediatrica, 2012; 101 (3): 324 DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02518.x
Multiple psychosomatic symptoms can indicate child physical abuse – results from a study of Swedish schoolchildren
Carolina Jernbro, Birgitta Svensson, Ylva Tindberg, Staffan Janson
Acta Paediatrica Volume 101, Issue 3, pages 324–329, March 2012
Methods: A national cross-sectional study of 2771 pupils in grades 4, 6 and 9 from 44 schools in Sweden was carried out in 2006 (91% response rate)….
Results: There was a strong association between reported physical abuse and multiple (three or more) psychosomatic symptoms among schoolchildren (AOR 2.12). Chronic condition was the only determinant that had an obvious enhancing effect on the association between physical abuse and psychosomatic symptoms in childhood.
Conclusion: This study shows that multiple psychosomatic symptoms are associated with child physical abuse. Health professionals therefore need to pay special attention to schoolchildren who complain about the co-occurrence of psychosomatic symptoms and pattern of symptoms, which could not be easily explained by other causes.