Somatisation and functional impairment in adolescents: Longitudinal link with mothers' reactions

Sofie Rousseau, Hans Grietens, Johan Vanderfaeillie, Karel Hoppenbrouwers, Annemie Desoete, Karla Van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Adolescents' somatisation (i.e., the psychological tendency to experience and report multiple physical complaints for which no definite medical cause can be found; SOM) and functional impairment (i.e., all bothersome aftermath of somatisation; FI) were studied in relation to mothers' protection, encouraging/monitoring, and minimisation of physical functional complaints. Besides main effects, interaction effects with other child and parenting characteristics were examined. A total of 990 adolescents and their mothers filled out questionnaires when the adolescents were respectively 12-13 (T1) and 13-14 (T2) years old. At T1, there was a significant relation between mothers' higher amounts of minimisation and adolescents' higher levels of SOM. Further, the link between mothers' higher levels of T1 minimisation and adolescents' higher amounts of T1 FI was significant, but not for adolescents with high levels of depressive mood. Longitudinal analyses revealed that mothers' reactions did not significantly predict adolescents' SOM/FI, nor did adolescents' SOM/FI significantly predict mothers' reactions. Practical implications are discussed. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-155
Number of pages25
JournalPsychologica Belgica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Encouraging/monitoring
  • Functional impairmentm
  • Minimisation
  • Protection
  • Somatisation


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