Volume 37, Issue 5 p. 519-528

Physical Symptoms and Illness Attitudes in Adolescents: An Epidemiological Study

Mary Eminson

Corresponding Author

Mary Eminson

University of Manchester, U.K.

Requests for reprints to: Dr D. Mary Eminson, Department of Child and Family Services, Bolton General Hospital, Minerva Road, Bolton, BL4 0JR, UK.Search for more papers by this author
Sidney Benjamin

Sidney Benjamin

University of Manchester, U.K.

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Anne Shortall

Anne Shortall

University of Manchester, U.K.

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Tracey Woods

Tracey Woods

University of Manchester, U.K.

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Brian Faragher

Brian Faragher

Withington Hospital, Manchester, U.K.

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First published: JULY 1996
Citations: 85

Abstract

A secondary school population of 805 11-16-year-olds reported lifetime prevalence of 31 physical symptoms and illness attitudes. Girls had a median of six symptoms (range 0–22) and boys five (range 0–22); 67 (8.3%) had 13 or more. Older girls reported more symptoms than younger ones. The excess of symptoms in older girls was related to reporting painful periods rather than simply to age or the menarche. High symptom scorers of both sexes had significantly higher scores on seven Illness Attitude Sub-Scales (Kellner, 1987), with more distress about illness and more treatment experience. The implications of these findings are discussed.