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Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Mar;194(3):220-3. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.044271.

Childhood temperament and long-term sickness absence in adult life.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, Department of Psychological Medicine, Weston Education Centre, Cutcombe Road, London SE5 9RJ, UK. m.henderson@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known as to whether childhood temperament is associated with long-term sickness absence in adult life.

AIMS:

To explore the associations between childhood temperament and long-term sickness absence in middle age.

METHOD:

The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study is comprised of 12,150 children born in Aberdeen 1950-55. Teachers completed the Aberdeen-London Child Behaviour Scale (Rutter B) for all participants in 1964. Current employment status was ascertained for 7183 (63.7%) in 2001.

RESULTS:

Five and a half per cent of responders classified themselves as 'permanently sick or disabled' at follow-up. 'Often complains of aches and pains' (OR=6.75, 95% CI 1.28-35.5) and 'Often appears miserable or unhappy' (OR=3.81, 95% CI 1.01-14.4) were strongly associated with being permanently sick or disabled following adjustment for year of birth, gender, IQ and father's social class.

CONCLUSIONS:

Childhood temperament is strongly associated with sickness absence in middle age.

PMID:
19252149
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.107.044271
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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