Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 14, 2015; 21(18): 5532-5541
Published online May 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i18.5532
Psychosocial mechanisms for the transmission of somatic symptoms from parents to children
Miranda AL van Tilburg, Rona L Levy, Lynn S Walker, Michael Von Korff, Lauren D Feld, Michelle Garner, Andrew D Feld, William E Whitehead
Miranda AL van Tilburg, William E Whitehead, Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, United States
Rona L Levy, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Lynn S Walker, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37201, United States
Michael Von Korff, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Lauren D Feld, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10001, United States
Michelle Garner, Department of Social Work, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA 98417, United States
Andrew D Feld, Group Health Cooperative, Spokane, WA 99255, United States
Author contributions: Levy RL, Whitehead WE, Walker LS, Feld AD and Von Korff M designed the study; Feld LD and Garner M were involved in data collection; van Tilburg MAL, Levy RL, and Whitehead WE were involved in analysis of the data and writing of the manuscript; Walker LS, Von Korff M, Feld LD, Feld AD and Garner M reviewed the manuscript.
Supported by NIH, No. RO1 HD36069, No. RO1 DK31369, and No. R24 67674.
Ethics approval: This study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Boards of Group Health Cooperative, the University of Washington, and the University of North Carolina.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Miranda AL van Tilburg, PhD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Center for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Campus Box 7080, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, United States.
Received: August 22, 2014
Peer-review started: August 23, 2014
First decision: September 27, 2014
Revised: November 19, 2014
Accepted: December 20, 2014
Article in press: December 22, 2014
Published online: May 14, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: Irritable bowel syndrome tends to run in families. In previous studies, we found that this phenomenon could be explained by reinforcement and modeling of gastrointestinal illness behavior by parents. The current study extend these findings by examining various psychosocial influences on intergenerational transmission. We found that multiple psychosocial similarities between the mother and child may explain familial aggregation, including the mother’s modeling of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, shared psychological distress, and shared family stress.