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J Clin Child Psychol. 1999 Jun;28(2):185-96.

Homesickness in preadolescent and adolescent girls: risk factors, behavioral correlates, and sequelae.

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University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98104-2499, USA.


Examined homesickness in 117 girls ages 8 to 16 during a 2-week stay at summer camp. (Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. It is characterized by acute longing and preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects.) Elevated preseparation levels of homesickness, high expectations of homesickness, negative separation attitudes, low decision control, and little previous separation experience predicted in-camp levels of homesickness. During the separation, homesickness was associated with insecure interpersonal attitudes, negative initial impressions of the novel environment, high perceived distance from home, and low perceived control. Female surrogate caregivers rated homesick girls as having lower social status and more somatic complaints, social problems, and externalizing behavior than less homesick girls. Although the prevalence, intensity, and longitudinal course of homesickness in girls did not differ from analogous samples of boys, girls' profile of risk factors, correlates, and sequelae is unique in its mixed behavioral presentation and small correlations with age and experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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