Somatization disorder and stress in teachers: a comprehensive occupational health evaluation

Krista Howard, Kelly Haskard-Zolnierek, Angela Johnson, Sinjin Roming, Rachel Price, Briana Cobos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Somatization disorder is a biopsychosocial-based, stress-induced disorder involving multiple physical ailments with no medical explanation. The teaching profession is characterized as very stressful, making teachers at risk of developing somatization disorder. This study examined somatization disorder in a K-12 teacher population. A total of 2,988 teachers from 46 Texas districts responded to a comprehensive online occupational health survey. Somatization disorder was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire. Univariate analyses were conducted between teachers with and without somatization disorder to identify specific relationships with demographic variables, occupational variables, perceived stress, Axis I psychopathology, and physical health. A logistic regression was developed to identify the variables most strongly associated with the presence of somatization disorder in a teacher population. Analyses showed that female teachers are 3.3 times more likely to develop somatization disorder. Compared to Caucasians, African American teachers are 3.9 times and Hispanic teachers are 2.0 times more likely to develop somatization disorder. Moreover, higher levels of stress, poorer physical quality of life, major depression, panic and anxiety disorder were significantly related with somatization disorder (p <.05). Higher levels of stress and poorer physical and mental health are among the psychosocial and demographic factors associated with somatization disorder in public school teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12105
JournalJournal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • absenteeism
  • anxiety
  • attrition
  • depression
  • occupational health
  • perceived stress
  • presenteeism
  • somatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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