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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2008 Apr;29(2):94-100. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31815f24e1.

Health in young people: social inhibition and negative affect and their relationship with self-reported somatic complaints.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Psychology, Leiden University-Institute for Psychological Research, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands.



It was investigated whether the combination of negative affect and social inhibition (personality Type D) is positively associated with somatic complaints in pre- and early adolescents. Moreover, an analysis of stability was made.


Data were collected twice, with an 18-month time interval, using questionnaires (N=668 children, M initial age=10.3, SD =.70). Individuals scoring above the median on social inhibition and negative affect were classified as Type D. These individuals had more somatic complaints than individuals scoring above the median on social inhibition or negative affect. Individuals with below median scores on social inhibition and negative affect had the lowest level of somatic complaints.


The overall stability of the characteristics was moderate and most individuals did not show significant change on the two variables.


Because the Type D classification was nevertheless not very stable, a different way of defining Type D is proposed. The social inhibition/negative affect combination indicates an elevated risk for self-reported somatic complaints in youth.

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