The association among alexithymia, somatic symptoms and clinical correlates has been scantly investigated in children. The present study examined alexithymic features and somatic symptomatology in schoolchildren with high and low levels of depression, testing the role of depressive symptoms in mediating the associations between alexithymia and somatic symptoms. Seven-hundred schoolchildren were involved in this study and divided into two subgroups (8–10 years and 11–14 years) in order to test differences according to the age. Participants completed the Children’s Somatization Inventory-24 for the assessment of somatic symptoms, the Alexithymia Questionnaire for Children to evaluate alexithymic features and the Children’s Depression Inventory-2 to investigate depressive symptoms. Results showed that children with high levels of depression reported both higher alexithymia and somatic symptoms levels. Despite a direct effect of alexithymia on somatic symptoms, the mediation analyses also highlighted an indirect effect of alexythimia on somatic symptoms through depressive symptoms. Findings suggested that a depressive symptomatology may clarify why schoolchildren with high alexithymia scores tend to report higher levels of health problems. Results also support the possibility that depressive symptoms may contribute to the development of somatic symptomatology among schoolchildren in the presence of high levels of alexithymia.

Alexithymic traits and somatic symptoms in children and adolescents: a screening approach to explore the mediation role of depression / Cerutti, Rita; Spensieri, Valentina; Presaghi, Fabio; Renzi, Alessia; Palumbo, Nicola; Amendola, Simone; Solano, Luigi; Di Trani, Michela. - In: PSYCHIATRIC QUARTERLY. - ISSN 0033-2720. - (2020). [10.1007/s11126-020-09715-8]

Alexithymic traits and somatic symptoms in children and adolescents: a screening approach to explore the mediation role of depression

Cerutti, Rita
;
Spensieri, Valentina;Presaghi, Fabio;Renzi, Alessia;Palumbo, Nicola;Simone, Amendola;Solano, Luigi;Di Trani, Michela
2020

Abstract

The association among alexithymia, somatic symptoms and clinical correlates has been scantly investigated in children. The present study examined alexithymic features and somatic symptomatology in schoolchildren with high and low levels of depression, testing the role of depressive symptoms in mediating the associations between alexithymia and somatic symptoms. Seven-hundred schoolchildren were involved in this study and divided into two subgroups (8–10 years and 11–14 years) in order to test differences according to the age. Participants completed the Children’s Somatization Inventory-24 for the assessment of somatic symptoms, the Alexithymia Questionnaire for Children to evaluate alexithymic features and the Children’s Depression Inventory-2 to investigate depressive symptoms. Results showed that children with high levels of depression reported both higher alexithymia and somatic symptoms levels. Despite a direct effect of alexithymia on somatic symptoms, the mediation analyses also highlighted an indirect effect of alexythimia on somatic symptoms through depressive symptoms. Findings suggested that a depressive symptomatology may clarify why schoolchildren with high alexithymia scores tend to report higher levels of health problems. Results also support the possibility that depressive symptoms may contribute to the development of somatic symptomatology among schoolchildren in the presence of high levels of alexithymia.
alexithymic traits; somatic symptoms; depression; mediator; schoolchildren
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Alexithymic traits and somatic symptoms in children and adolescents: a screening approach to explore the mediation role of depression / Cerutti, Rita; Spensieri, Valentina; Presaghi, Fabio; Renzi, Alessia; Palumbo, Nicola; Amendola, Simone; Solano, Luigi; Di Trani, Michela. - In: PSYCHIATRIC QUARTERLY. - ISSN 0033-2720. - (2020). [10.1007/s11126-020-09715-8]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1388973
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