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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

GONZALEZ RAMIREZ, Mónica Teresa  and  LANDERO HERNANDEZ, René. Confirmation of a descriptive model of stress and psychosomatic symptoms using structural equations. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.1, pp. 7-18. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008000100002.

OBJECTIVES:To evaluate a descriptive model of stress that integrates an explanation of psychosomatic symptoms with the transactional theory of stress. METHODS:A random and stratified representative sample was selected from among the students in the School of Psychology at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, Mexico. The subjects were chosen randomly from a student directory provided by the school. A self-administered questionnaire was used that contained the psychometric properties necessary for accurately quantifying each of the variables included in the model. Results were analyzed using AMOS 5.0, employing the best probability method. Also, the structural model was compared using discrete variables only and endogenous latent variables. RESULTS: The results that were obtained partly confirmed the model and corroborated the impact that stress and emotional exhaustion have on psychosomatic symptoms and that self-esteem, self-efficacy, and social support have on stress. The model with discrete variables [chi square test/degrees of freedom (c2/df) = 2.87; goodness of fit (GFI) = 0.985; adjusted goodness of fit (AGFI) = 0.946; root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.072; incremental fit index (IFI) = 0.982] has a better fit than the model with latent variables (c2/df = 3.74; GFI = 0.924; AGFI = 0.876; RMSEA = 0.09, IFI = 0.927). In both cases, the fit is adequate. CONCLUSIONS:The model discussed is the main contribution of this study. It is a descriptive model of psychosomatic symptoms, with a good fit, that describes 24.3% of the variance for discrete variables and 39.4% when using latent variables.

Keywords : Psychophysiologic disorders; stress; Mexico.

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