Somatization and Coping in Ethnic Minority Recruits

Nakkas, Can and Annen, Hubert and Brand, Serge. (2019) Somatization and Coping in Ethnic Minority Recruits. Military medicine, 184 (11-12). e680-e685.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/77094/

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Military service can have beneficial social effects on minorities. However, minority groups are also often at greater risk of somatizing psychological distress and coping maladaptively. In military training this would result in lower mental health of minorities and contribute to higher drop-out rates. We thus examined if recruits with different ethnocultural backgrounds report different somatization levels and coping styles.; Seven hundred and forty male recruits of the Swiss Armed Forces aged 18-26 took part in a cross-sectional study during basic training. Participants filled out self-rating questionnaires covering sociodemographics, somatization (SCL-90-R), coping styles (INCOPE-2), and social support (F-SozU). The recruits' ethnic self-identification was used to compare three groups: native Swiss (89%); Turkish or Balkan minority (5%); heterogeneous ethnic minority (6%). Group differences in somatization scores were tested with a Kruskal-Wallis test; group differences in coping styles were tested with a multivariate ANCOVA, controlling for the level of social support experienced.; Recruits from the heterogeneous ethnic minority group reported significantly greater levels of somatization than their native Swiss comrades. Coping styles did not differ between the three ethnic groups, but higher levels of social support were associated with better coping.; Military doctors ought to place importance on the differential diagnosis of medically unexplained physical symptoms in ethnic minority recruits. This would contribute to minimize the risk of misdiagnosis. Military mental health professionals who counsel recruits reporting somatic symptoms are advised to be sensitized to an ethnic minority status. Physical complaints could mask affective problems or be part of an adjustment disorder symptomatology.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Klinische Stress- und Traumaforschung (Holsboer-Trachsler)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Klinische Stress- und Traumaforschung (Holsboer-Trachsler)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Sport, Bewegung und Gesundheit > Bereich Sportwissenschaft > Sportwissenschaften (PĆ¼hse)
UniBasel Contributors:Brand, Serge
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:28 Jul 2020 09:37
Deposited On:28 Jul 2020 09:37

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