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An investigation of parent-child behavior and adolescent somatization Grant, Isabel


The association between psychogenic knee pain in adolescent girls and parent-child behavior that involves (1) a high degree of control on the part of parents and (2) a high degree of submission on the part of adolescent daughters was investigated. The subjects, between the ages of 13 and 16 years, were patients of five doctors whom they were consulting about chronic knee pain. The doctors categorized each patient as either having "organic evidence" associated with their pain complaint (n=18) or "no organic evidence" (n=12). Each patient completed the Intrex Questionnaire: Short Forms B and C (Benjamin, 1988) which provided a set of data that descibed the daughters' perceptions of .their mothers' and fathers' behavior in relation to them and also the daughters' own behavior in relation to both parents. Similarity of the groups in terms of age, socioeconomic status and severity of pain was confirmed. Between-groups comparisons of the Intrex data yielded two significant differences. Daughters in the psychogenic pain group perceived their mothers as being both more controlling toward and more submissive to their daughters than did daughters in the organic group. Hypothesized differences between the groups regarding fathers' controlling behavior and daughters' submissive behavior were not supported.

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