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Adverse childhood experiences and somatic symptoms in adulthood : a moderated mediation effects of disturbed self-organization and resilient coping
Zager Kocjan, Gaja
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Early life adversity is associated with somatic symptoms (SS) in adulthood, but the psychological mechanisms involved need to be further investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate whether disturbances in self-organization (DSO), consisting of affective dysregulation, negative self-concept, and disturbances in relationships, mediate the relationship between exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and SS in adulthood. In addition, we investigated whether resilient coping buffers the direct and indirect effect of ACEs on SS. Method: The study sample comprised 4,847 Slovenian adults aged 18 to 75 years and was broadly representative of the general population. Results: Results of the mediation analysis showed that DSO had a notable, significant mediating effect on the relationship between ACEs and SS, with the indirect effect (a x b = .386, p < .001) accounting for 53.3% of the total effect. A moderated mediation analysis revealed a significant interaction between ACEs and resilient coping in predicting DSO (B = -.074, p = .020), suggesting that resilient coping moderated the indirect effect of ACEs on SS. The flexible use of coping strategies to solve problems in stressful circumstances reduced the negative effect of ACEs on DSO, and hence the frequency of SS in adults with a history of ACEs. Conclusions: Health care professionals should be aware of the role that DSO may have in maintaining or exacerbating SS in victims of early trauma. Strengthening the individual's capacities for resilient coping can alleviate the negative effects of early trauma on psychological functioning and health in later life.
adverse childhood experiences
Somatic symptoms scale
Adverse childhood experiences scale
International trauma questionnaire ITQ
Brief resilient coping scale
disturbances in self-organization
1.01 - Original Scientific Article
FF - Faculty of Arts
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obremenjujoče izkušnje iz otroštva OIO
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