When somatization is not the only thing you suffer from: Examining comorbid syndromes using latent profile analysis, parenting practices and adolescent functioning

Miri Scharf, Ofra Mayseless, Sofie Rousseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding somatization presents a challenge to clinicians because it is often associated with other syndromes. We addressed somatization's comorbidity with other internalizing syndromes (anxiety, depression, withdrawal) using latent profile analysis. A representative sample of 3496 Israeli middle and high-school youths reported their internalizing symptoms, perceived parenting practices, psychosocial functioning, and health behaviors. Four profiles, similar across age and gender, were identified: overall-low (65.4%), moderately-high anxiety/depression/withdrawal (24.4%), high somatization (4.8%), and overall-high (5.4%). MANOVAs and follow-up ANOVAs revealed that for the most part the overall-high profile evinced the worst parenting, psychosocial functioning, and health behaviors (smoking and drinking), while the overall-low group evinced the best. For most variables the high somatization and moderately high profiles displayed midway results. However, the moderately-high profile reported higher levels of harsh parenting than the high somatization profile. The high somatization profile reported similar or higher levels of smoking, risk taking, vandalism, and rule violation than the overall-high group. High somatization, either alone or alongside anxiety, depression, and withdrawal, was associated with disruptive and risk-taking behaviors. This link might reflect problems in emotion and anger regulation and become stronger in adolescence because of dysregulation processes characterizing this period. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


  • Externalizing problems
  • Health behavior
  • Internalizing problems
  • Mother and father
  • Parenting
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Teacher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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