Conference Contribution Details
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Curraoin, Cathal; Egan, Jonathan
BPS Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference
Feeling Unreal: Depersonalisation and somatic complaints in young Irish adults Conference: BPS Division of Health Psychology 2018 Conference,
Poster Presentation
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Background: Somatic pain symptoms are commonly reported in adults. Research to date has not adequately investigated how common somatic complaints relate to the psychological well-being of young Irish adults. Factors such as childhood abuse/neglect, insecure attachment style, high levels of depersonalisation, and low levels of self- compassion have been found to moderate experiences of pain. The current study examines how these factors relate to an increase in somatic concerns. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed. A large sample of Irish young adults (18 - 25; N=208 who fully completed the survey of which 258 started) responded to an email inviting them to complete an online survey on childhood experiences and psychological and physical well-being. Standardised measures of the variables above were used. A multiple regression was performed to analyse the predictors of somatic symptoms. Findings: High levels of somatic pain were reported by the sample in the previous month- including being bothered a little or a lot by back pain (51%), headaches (48%), menstrual pain (48%), stomach pain (44%), pain in joints (43%), GI upset (40%), constipation (31%), and chest pain (16%). The overall regression model was significant, with attachment anxiety and depersonalisation being significant predictors of somatic pain. Discussion: This study illustrates the prevalence and correlates of somatic complaints in young Irish adults. Recommendations will be made in relation to primary care practice, as well as how to address future research needs for this young adult population- who are learning to independently interact with the medical services available to them.
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