Pathway linking different types of childhood trauma to somatic symptoms in a subclinical sample of female college students: the mediating role of experiential avoidance

Heshmati, Rasoul, Azmoodeh, Shahin, and Caltabiano, Marie L. (2021) Pathway linking different types of childhood trauma to somatic symptoms in a subclinical sample of female college students: the mediating role of experiential avoidance. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 209 (7). pp. 497-504.

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Abstract

Research has shown that women are more prone to childhood trauma and this state is associated with somatic symptoms. Also, people who have been exposed to traumatic experiences use experiential avoidance to reduce negative emotions. However, the mediating role of experiential avoidance in the relationship between childhood trauma and somatic symptoms is not clear, so, the present study investigated whether the relationships among different types of childhood trauma and somatic symptoms could be explained by experiential avoidance in female college students. In a cross-sectional study, 251 Iranian female college students with somatic symptoms were recruited from the University of Tabriz. Participants completed self-report scales, including the Persian version of Child Abuse Self-Reported Scale, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), and the Patient-health questionnaire (PHQ-15). A path analysis was used to empirically explore the relationships. Structural equation modeling analyses confirmed a partial mediation model. Study participants who had a higher level of emotional trauma reported higher levels of somatic symptoms. Emotional and neglect trauma showed significant positive relations with experiential avoidance. Bootstrapping results showed that experiential avoidance partially mediated the relationship between emotional trauma and somatic symptoms. Moreover, the association between neglect and somatic symptoms was fully mediated by experiential avoidance. These findings suggest that experiential avoidance might be one mechanism explaining how adverse emotional and neglect experiences influence somatic symptoms. Interventions addressing experiential avoidance through methods such as emotion-focused therapy and mindfulness are discussed as potential future directions for treating somatic symptoms in females who experienced emotional and neglect trauma

Item ID: 68614
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1539-736X
Keywords: childhood trauma, experiential avoidance, somatic symptoms
Copyright Information: © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 21:31
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520302 Clinical psychology @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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