Are adolescents with high self-esteem protected from psychosomatic symptomatology?

Piko, Bettina F., Varga, Szabolcs and Mellor, David 2016, Are adolescents with high self-esteem protected from psychosomatic symptomatology?, European journal of pediatrics, vol. 175, no. 6, pp. 785-792, doi: 10.1007/s00431-016-2709-7.

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Title Are adolescents with high self-esteem protected from psychosomatic symptomatology?
Author(s) Piko, Bettina F.
Varga, Szabolcs
Mellor, DavidORCID iD for Mellor, David
Journal name European journal of pediatrics
Volume number 175
Issue number 6
Start page 785
End page 792
Total pages 8
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-06
ISSN 1432-1076
Keyword(s) Adolescence
Health behavior
Need to belong
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Summary This study investigated the role of self-esteem, social (need to belong, loneliness, competitiveness, and shyness), and health (smoking, drinking) behaviors in Hungarian adolescents' psychosomatic symptoms. Our sample of 490 students (ages 14-19 years) from Debrecen (Hungary) completed the questionnaires. Besides descriptive statistics, correlation and multiple regression analyses were applied to test interrelationships. Frequency analysis revealed that fatigue was the most commonly experienced psychosomatic symptom in this sample, followed by sleeping problems and (lower) back pain. Girls reported experiencing more symptoms. Multiple regression analyses suggested that (1) need to belong, shyness, and competitiveness may serve as social behavioral risk factors for adolescents' psychosomatic symptomatology, whereas (2) self-esteem may play a protective role. The role of social and health behaviors was modified when analyzed by gender: the psychosomatic index score was positively related to smoking and shyness among girls, and need to belong among boys. Self-esteem provided protection for both sexes. CONCLUSION: We conclude that problems with social relationships (namely, unmet need to belong, competitiveness, and shyness) may lead to psychosomatic health complaints, whereas self-esteem may serve as a protection. Findings suggest that social skills training and strengthening self-esteem should be an important part of children's health promotion programs in schools to improve their psychosomatic health and well-being.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00431-016-2709-7
Field of Research 1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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