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Trajectories, Antecedents, and Outcomes of Childhood Somatization in School-Age Boys

Beck, Joy Elizabeth (2006) Trajectories, Antecedents, and Outcomes of Childhood Somatization in School-Age Boys. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The current study had three goals that were designed to extend our understanding of childhood somatization (SOM). The first goal was to use a group-based trajectory analysis to plot developmental pathways of SOM. The second goal was to use a developmental psychopathology framework to identify risk factors from multiple domains that discriminated SOM trajectories. The third and final goal was to examine the relationship between child maladjustment, including functional impairment, and SOM trajectory group status. These goals were conducted with a sample of 310 ethnically diverse, low-income boys followed longitudinally from ages 2 to 12, using multiple methods and informants. Similar to research using broadly-defined internalizing behaviors, three developmental trajectories were identified: No, Low Increasing, and Moderate Increasing. The majority of the boys (i.e., 82%) were reported as displaying at least low to moderate levels of SOM across childhood. In addition to these three trajectories, a small group of boys (n = 5) demonstrated a distinct pattern of SOM, called the Moderate to High (MTH) group. Follow-up analyses indicated that the Moderate Increasing group was differentiated from the No group by higher levels of maternal depressive symptoms and parent-child conflict, whereas the MTH group demonstrated lower levels of social skills than the other three groups. Higher levels of both child negative affectivity and parent-child conflict discriminated the Low Increasing group from the No group. Differences in child outcomes at ages 11 and 12 were not found. The implications of the results for clinical intervention and future research are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beck, Joy Elizabethjoybeck@pitt.eduJOYBECK
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShaw, Daniel Scasey@pitt.eduCASEY
Committee MemberMarsland, Anna Lmarsland@pitt.eduMARSLAND
Committee MemberNagin,
Committee MemberCampo, John
Committee MemberNoll, Robert
Committee MemberCampbell, Susan Bsbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Date: 6 October 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 20 June 2005
Approval Date: 6 October 2006
Submission Date: 14 August 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: child clinical psychology; pediatric psychology; environmental risk; physical complaints
Other ID:, etd-08142006-125538
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:59
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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