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"Somatic complaints and psychopathology in children and adolescents"
Somatic complaints and psychopathology in children and adolescents
Carlos Hernandez
Critical Thinking: Review of a research article

Somatic complaints and psychopathology in children and adolescents: stomach aches, musculoskeletal pains, and headaches.

Background research

The article is focusing on the correlation between somatic complaints and the possibility of mental distress. It began by looking at the prevalence of certain complaints amongst children. They site a variety of different authors to state how often children suffer from headaches, limb pain and stomach aches. It also gives the important detail that Medical causes of stomach aches are identified in only 5% to 10% of all cases (Apley and Naish, 1958; Boyle, 1997; Stickler and Murphy, 1979).

It continues by separating each of the discomforts into the three categories and delve deeper into the implications for each. It states that children with stomach pain have a greater occurrence of anxiety and depressive symptoms. (Astrada et al., 1981) It even went on to say that even the small percentage that has a medical diagnosis still have higher incidence certain anxiety and depression (Garber et al., 1990). Headaches, limb pain, and combination complaints have similar data.

They found a difference in the results of boys and girls so they did separate them when doing the study. They found that there were more headaches and stomach aches with anxiety and depression in girls and conduct disorder in boys. (Egger et al., 1998)


Using the Great Smokey Mountain Study (Costello, 1996) they selected a group based on a predetermined cutoff behavioral score, then did a random 1-of-10 sampling. They did 4 waves of studies and they analyzed children age 9-16. (Egger, et al. 1999). They then did a series of interviews with the child and their primary care-taker to established a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA) which results in a DSM diagnoses. (Egger et al. 1999) With the use of a computer they...

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"Somatic complaints and psychopathology in children and adolescents." Aug 15, 2018
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