Adverse childhood experiences and somatic symptoms in adulthood : a moderated mediation effects of disturbed self-organization and resilient coping
ID Kuhar, Metka (Author), ID Zager Kocjan, Gaja (Author)

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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.

Keywords:adverse childhood experiences, child abuse, coping behavior, early experience, somatization, protective factors, resilience (psychological), self-concept, symptoms, Somatic symptoms scale, Adverse childhood experiences scale, International trauma questionnaire ITQ, Brief resilient coping scale, disturbances in self-organization, resilient coping, moderated mediation
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FF - Faculty of Arts
Number of pages:str. 1288-1298
Numbering:Vol. 14, no. 8
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-128664 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:1942-969X
DOI:10.1037/tra0001040 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:69303299 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:22.07.2021
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Title:Psychological trauma
Publisher:American Psychological Association
COBISS.SI-ID:520163353 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY 3.0, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Description:You are free to reproduce and redistribute the material in any medium or format. You are free to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Licensing start date:01.11.2022

Secondary language

Keywords:obremenjujoče izkušnje iz otroštva OIO, zloraba otrok, spoprijemanje, zgodnje izkušnje, somatizacija, varovalni dejavniki, osebnostna prožnost, samopodoba, simptomi

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