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The Experience and Reporting of Common Physical Complaints

David Mechanic
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 146-155
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136734
Page Count: 10
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The Experience and Reporting of Common Physical Complaints
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Abstract

Data from a sample of young adults first studied in 1961 are used to examine factors influencing reports of common physical complaints in 1977. Among the factors associated with such symptom reports are the child's illness behavior in 1961, retrospective reports of family interaction during childhood, measures of psychological state, and subjective measures of physical health status. Reported parental behavior appears to affect symptom reporting primarily through its influence on subjective psychological and physical health. It is hypothesized that reporting common physical symptoms is part of a pattern of illness behavior and response, shaped by childhood training and responsive to personal stress and the occurrence of body dysfunction.

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