The effects of stress, coping strategies, self-esteem and social support on the frequency of depressive-somatic complaints have been studied in the Hungarian teenage-adolescent population (14-18 yrs). Demographic variables were age and gender. Hypotheses: Higher stress level is associated with more depressive-somatoform complaints while the frequency of these complaints is reduced by the increasing levels of self-esteem, social support, and problem-solving coping approach. Methods: The whole population between 14-18 years (No. of students: 201) of a rural secondary school were approached to participate in our study. 183 of them (91%) answered our voluntary, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. (97 girls, 86 boys). We utilized the Juhász Neurosis Scale (JPNS) to assess the frequency of depressive-somatoform complaints, the Rahe Brief Stress Inventory to assess stress-level, the Rosenberg, Caldwell, and Folkmann-Lazarus questionnaires to measure self-esteem, social support and the ways of coping. Associations between our dependent and independent variables were examined by uni- and multivariate linear regression while gender differences in our variables were assessed by one-way-ANOVA (SPSS 11.5). Results: Analysis of the frequency of depressive-somatic symptoms revealed that 22,1% of boys and 32% of girls had moderate, while 19,8% of boys and 36% of girls had severe somatoform-depressive disorders. Boys showed a higher level of self-esteem (29,94 vs. 27,09 p<0,01), emotional acting approach (p = 0,014), had fewer depressive-somatic complaints (6,50 vs. 8,58 p<0,01), while girls tended to seek for social support more frequently than boys (p<0,001). Results of multivariate regression analysis indicate that a higher frequency of psychosomatic complaints was related to higher stress level (β:0,586 p<0,001), problem-analyzing coping approach (β:0,183 p<0,05), female gender (β:0,207 p<0,001) and higher age (β:0,116 p<0,05). Self-esteem and social support had no significant effect. We only revealed one protective factor, problem solving approach as a form of problem-centered strategy reducing significantly the number of depressive-somatic symptoms (β:-0,170 p<0,01). Conclusions: Our results indicate that reduction of stress and developing new adaptive coping strategies in adolescents would be a possible effective intervention for promoting somato-mental health of this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health