Emotions and self-esteem as indicators of somatic complaints in children

M. Meerum Terwogt, C.J. Rieffe, A.C. Miers, F. C. Jellesma, A. Tolland

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

342 Downloads (Pure)


The literature on somatic complaints in children without a clear physical medical cause often demonstrates connections with various psychological factors, such as negative emotions and problems handling them, poor self-image, and coping potential. We entered these elements into a structural model to elucidate the relationships among them and tested it on 330 children (mean age 10 years and 9 months). The results showed that mood balance contributed most to the prediction of self-reported somatic complaints. Moreover, mood (in combination with anxiety and depression problems) had an indirect impact on children's somatic complaints by influencing self-esteem. The influence and position of coping was less clear. The results are discussed in terms of the 'symptom perception theory'. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-592
Number of pages12
JournalInfant and Child Development
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Emotions and self-esteem as indicators of somatic complaints in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this