A Comparison of Psychosomatic Symptoms and Coping Strategies of 14—19 Year–old Czech Students with and without Specific Learning Disabilities in Stressful Circumstances



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Keywords specific learning disabilities; psychosomatic symptoms; coping strategies; Czech Republic
Description The study was focused on comparing the prevalence (H1) and type (H2) of psychosomatic symptoms in 14–19 year-old Czech students (N = 459) without and with specific learning disabilities (SpLDs) and these students’ inclinations towards selected coping strategies (H3). No statistically significant differences were observed in the prevalence and type of psychosomatic symptoms between non-SpLDs students (n = 366) and students with SpLDs (N = 93). The four most frequent psychosomatic symptoms in both study groups were abdominal pain (61%; N = 459), extreme fatigue (60%; N = 459), tremor (56%; N = 459) and headache (53%; N = 459), which appeared when students were under stress from sometimes to very often. There were no observed differences in students’ inclinations to negative and positive coping strategies when feeling stressed, apart from alcohol abuse, which was more common among non-SpLDs students (p = .024). A correlation was detected between anxiety, withdrawal and crying and the six most frequent psychosomatic symptoms. Furthermore, students with SpLDs more often reported the use of strategies to eliminate the cause of the problem (80%; N = 93) and attempts to find different solutions (80%; N = 93). Thus, the results of the study suggest that specific learning disabilities are not a risk factor for either a higher prevalence of psychosomatic symptoms or a preference for negative coping strategies.
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