Journal Article

Overt and Relational Victimization Among Children with Frequent Abdominal Pain: Links to Social Skills, Academic Functioning, and Health Service Use

Laurie A. Greco, Kari E. Freeman and Lynette Dufton

in Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Volume 32, issue 3, pages 319-329
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 0146-8693
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1465-735X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsl016
Overt and Relational Victimization Among Children with Frequent Abdominal Pain: Links to Social Skills, Academic Functioning, and Health Service Use

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Objectives Chronic abdominal pain is linked with school absenteeism and diminished social competence; yet, little is know about the extent to which negative peer encounters contribute to symptoms and functioning in youth with abdominal pain. This study compared children with frequent abdominal pain with a pain-free control group on measures of overt and relational victimization and examined the link between abdominal pain and school-related functioning. Methods Participants were 60 children with frequent abdominal pain and 60 gender- and age-matched peers. Child, peer, and teacher reports were used to assess abdominal pain, peer victimization, use of school medical services, social skills, and academic competence. Results Children with frequent abdominal pain experienced higher levels of victimization than their pain-free peers, with boys in the pain group rated highest in overt victimization. For children in the pain group, overt and relational victimization made incremental contributions to outcomes and moderated the link between pain- and school-related functioning. Conclusions Overt and relational victimization may increase risk of concurrent adjustment problems among youth with frequent abdominal pain; thus, it may be useful to assess peer relationships when working with this population.

Keywords: abdominal pain; overt victimization; peer relationships; relational victimization

Journal Article.  6746 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Psychology

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