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Perseverative thoughts and subjective health complaints in adolescence: Mediating effects of perceived stress and negative affects

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Stable tendency to perseverative thoughts such as trait rumination and worry can influence somatic health. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between perseverative thoughts and somatic complaints, and the possible mediating effects of perceived stress, negative and positive affectivity in adolescence. Having an acute or a chronic condition was also assessed to be controlled for and to reveal their effects on symptom reporting. Three hundred and six adolescents from 7th to 12th grade with mean age of 16.33 (SD = 1.29) participated in the study. Mediation analysis suggested that impact of trait-like perseverative thoughts on complaints were mediated by perceived stress and negative affectivity. Having an acute condition had also an effect on symptom reporting through increased negative affectivity. Our results highlight that ruminations or worry as stable intrapersonal characteristics are relevant processes in health and can be potential targets in prevention programmes in adolescence.
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Keywords: acute condition; negative affectivity; perceived stress; perseverative thoughts; subjective health complaints

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary 2: School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK 3: Doctoral School of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

Publication date: August 3, 2015

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