Periodical Title

Journal of Adolescent and Family Health


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


January 2020


Somatic symptoms in adolescents are associated with psychosocial stress. Parental military deployment can function as a stressor for adolescents. A retrospective cohort study was developed exploring relationships between health care utilization, a proxy for symptomatology, and sponsor deployment in adolescents with somatic symptoms. Data was obtained from the Military Health System Data Repository. Migraine headaches was the most common somatic symptom diagnosis. Parental deployment was overall associated with a 27% decrease in visits for somatic symptoms. For adolescents whose sponsor was female, deployment was associated with a 34% decrease in visits. This pattern is inconsistent with prior research on somatic symptoms and psychosocial stressors. Potential causes of this discrepancy are discussed in the context of military family life.

Cover Page Footnote

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government. This research was supported in part by an appointment to the Postgraduate Research Participation Program at the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and NMCPHC. Copyright Statement: Charles G. Zimbrick-Rogers was a military service member when this work was completed. This work was prepared as part of his official duties. Title 17 U.S.C. 105 provides that “Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government.” Title 17 U.S.C. 101 defines a United States Government work as a work prepared by a military service member or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties.


Adolescent health services; Families -- Health and hygiene


Military Affiliated Adolescents; Somatic Symptoms; Deployment; Health Care Utilization


Family Medicine

Document Type