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.