Determinants of psychosomatic complaints in Swedish schoolchildren aged seven to twelve years

Scand J Public Health. 2000 Dec;28(4):283-93.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate determinants of psychosomatic complaints (PSC) in children. The model assumes that variables are working on three levels: the proximal level (the child), the intermediate level (the family), and the distal level (the society).

Methods: Data were obtained from a large cross-sectional survey on children's health and well-being in the Nordic countries. A questionnaire was sent to the parents of a representative sample of 1,163 Swedish children aged seven to 12 years. The analysis included a multivariate analysis using the LISREL program.

Results: The best predictors of PSC were the mother's health, the child's mental stability, contacts with peers, and long-term illness/disability. There were many other important relationships, which act via factors, such as school satisfaction, social competence, activities, the parents' sense of coherence, and family economy.

Conclusion: PSC in children should be seen in the context of all three levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Welfare / psychology*
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Models, Psychological
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / classification
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology