Somatic complaints in early adulthood predict the developmental course of compassion into middle age

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Saarinen , A I L , Keltikangas-Järvinen , L , Lehtimäki , T , Jula , A , Cloninger , C R & Hintsanen , M 2020 , ' Somatic complaints in early adulthood predict the developmental course of compassion into middle age ' , Journal of Psychosomatic Research , vol. 131 , 109942 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.109942

Title: Somatic complaints in early adulthood predict the developmental course of compassion into middle age
Author: Saarinen, Aino I. L.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Lehtimäki, Terho; Jula, Antti; Cloninger, C. Robert; Hintsanen, Mirka
Contributor organization: Doctoral Programme in Cognition, Learning, Instruction and Communication
Medicum
Faculty of Medicine
University of Helsinki
HUS Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District
Date: 2020-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 7
Belongs to series: Journal of Psychosomatic Research
ISSN: 0022-3999
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.109942
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/328921
Abstract: Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate (i) whether somatic complaints predict the developmental course of compassion in adulthood, and (ii) whether this association depends on alexithymic features. Methods: The participants came from the population-based Young Finns study (N = 471-1037). Somatic complaints (headache, stomachache, chest pain, backache, fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, heartburn, heartbeat, and tension) were evaluated with a self-rating questionnaire in 1986 when participants were aged between 18 and 24 years. Compassion was assessed with the Compassion Scale of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) in 1997, 2001, and 2012. The data were analyzed using growth curve models. Results: We obtained a significant compassion-age interaction (B = -0.137, p =.02) and a compassion -age squared interaction (B = 0.007, p =.006), when predicting the course of somatic complaints. Specifically, in participants without frequent somatic complaints, compassion steadily increased with age in adulthood. In participants with frequent somatic complaints, however, compassion remained at a lower level until the age of 40 years, then started to increase, and achieved the normal level of compassion approximately at the age of 50 years. The association between somatic complaints and compassion over age was found to be independent of alexithymic features. The analyses were adjusted for a variety of covariates (age, gender, use of health care in childhood, depression in childhood, parental socioeconomic factors, parental care-giving practices, stressful life events, parental alcohol intoxication, and participants' socioeconomic factors in adulthood). Conclusion: Frequent somatic complaints may predict delayed development of compassion in adulthood. This association was found to be independent of alexithymic features.
Subject: Compassion
Personality
Somatic complaints
Physical symptoms
Somatization
MEDICALLY UNEXPLAINED SYMPTOMS
TORONTO-ALEXITHYMIA-SCALE
SOMATOFORM DISORDERS
PSYCHOBIOLOGICAL MODEL
SOMATIZATION DISORDER
PERSONALITY-DISORDERS
CARDIOVASCULAR RISK
TEMPERAMENT
VALIDITY
HEALTH
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion


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