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A longitudinal investigation of the somatisation construct in a nationally representative sample of younger women


Somatisation is classically thought of as the physical expression of psychological distress, yet it is typically measured without reference to distress. Instead, it is measured in terms of whether one is “bothered” “a lot” as opposed to “a little” or “not at all” by each of a set of somatic symptoms (stomach pain, back pain, chest pain, etc.) In assessing somatic-symptom severity on a similar scale at each time point, while also assessing a host of psychological and health indicators, the ALSWH enables the investigation of whether, over time, psychosocial factors do predict somatic-symptom severity over and above health-related factors (e.g., whether one suffers from a serious health condition).