OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of child temperament, maternal psychologic symptoms, maternal chronic pain, and parenting stress on children's somatic complaints. METHODS: The study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort study. Child somatic complaints were assessed via mother-report in 5,171 children of 18 months of age. Questionnaires assessed maternal somatic symptoms, symptoms of depression, anxiety during pregnancy and 2 months after delivery, maternal chronic pain during pregnancy, parenting stress 18 months after birth, and mother-reported child temperament 6 months after birth, as the determinants. RESULTS: Fearful temperament, temperamental falling reactivity, maternal somatic symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and parenting stress each independently and prospectively increased the likelihood of children's somatic complaints at 18 months of age. CONCLUSIONS: In toddlers, temperament, maternal stress, and maternal somatic symptoms seem particularly important for the development of somatic complaints, but long-term research is needed to establish causality and predictive value of these factors.
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