The abuse from their intimate partners were more commonly

The World Health Organization (WHO)
contends that violence against women is a serious health issue and a public health concern globally especially in
the Philippines (Zuniga, Marks, & Gostin, 2013; Antai, Oke, Braithwaite,
& Lopez, 2014; Jaymalin, 2016). According to a multicountry study conducted
by the WHO (Hibbard, Barlow, & MacMillan, 2012), women who had experienced
psychological abuse from their intimate partners were more commonly reported.
Psychological abuse has been known to be an
antecedent of somatic symptoms (Hibbard, Barlow, & MacMillan, 2012).
Hurwitz (2004) asserts that somatization is the tendency of individuals to
communicate psychological distress in the form of somatic symptoms. The failure to adaptively express one’s distressing
experiences may have had caused negative emotions to be somatized (Gross &
Levenson, 1993; Petrova, 2008; McHugh & Vallis, 2012). Although there
are numerous studies supporting the abuse-distress-somatization link, to the
author’s knowledge, none so far have studied the moderating role of
psychological capital and individual’s inhibition. We contend that the
relationship between psychological abuse and psychological distress is
conditional to the psychological capital of the individuals and the
relationship between psychological distress and somatic symptoms is conditional
to the inhibitional attitude of an individual.  

To meet the criteria of somatic symptom
disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th
ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) requires patients to
have one or more chronic somatic symptoms about which they are excessively
concerned, preoccupied or fearful. These fears and behaviors cause significant
distress and dysfunction, and although patients may make frequent use of health
care services, they are rarely reassured and often feel their medical care has
been inadequate (Moran, Gross, & Stern, 2010; Maclean, Palsson, &
Turner, 2012; Staab, 2015). Some of the numerous symptoms that can occur with
somatic symptom disorder include: cardiac (e.g., shortness of breath,
palpitations, chest pain); gastrointestinal (e.g., vomiting, abdominal pain,
difficulty swallowing, nausea, bloating, diarrhea); musculoskeletal (e.g., pain
in the legs or arms, back pain, joint pain); neurological (e.g., headaches,
dizziness, amnesia, vision changes, paralysis or muscle weakness); urogenital
(e.g., pain during urination, low libido, dyspareunia, impotence, dysmenorrhea,
irregular menstruation and menorrhagia) (Shaw, Bernard, & DeMaso, 2011;
Dimsdale et al., 2013; Vishal, Brahmbhatt, & Vankar, 2014). Heim et al.,
(2013) assert that psychological abuse can leave its victims prone to
depression, moodiness and extreme or dulled emotional responsiveness, depending
on the person and the particular circumstances. Thus, adults have difficulty
reflecting on themselves and finding the right way to deal with emotions and
distress leading sustained levels of arousal and increased somatic symptoms
(Literacy, 2011; Heim, Mayberg, Mietzko, Nemeroff & Pruessner, 2013). Abused
women who had difficulty expressing their discomfort or fear and silently experience
distress, were more likely to experience somatic symptoms (Stone, 2014; Castle & Abel, 2016).

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Somatic symptoms brought about by failure to
express psychological distress among abused women has been theoretically and
empirically supported. However, it should be noted that not all who are
suffering from undisclosed distress will increase the severity of somatic
symptoms. This study speculates that this may be caused by psychological
capital and individual’s inhibition attitude.

Psychological
Capital have been known to lower psychological distress (Riolli, Savicki, &
Richards, 2012; Aslund, Starrin, & Nilsson, 2014). While, inhibition of
emotion is a critical component in the development and maintenance of
depression and anxiety disorder (Barlow et al., 2004; Sills et al., 2006;
Kashdan et al., 2006; Mennin, 2006; Compare et al., 2014) which then results to
somatic symptoms (Liu et al., 2013; Krasikova, Lester, & Harm, 2015; Kan
& Yu, 2015). Thus, it is plausible that psychological distress’ effect on
the development of somatic symptoms is a function of psychological capital and
emotional inhibition. To the author’s knowledge, there have been few studies on
the moderating roles of psychological capital and inhibition in the
relationship between psychological abuse and somatic symptoms with
psychological distress as the mediating factor. Additionally, most of the
studies conducted with intimate partner violence (IPV) is coming from
institutions or residential care center (Roelens, Verstraelen, & Temmerman,
2009; Bauer, Rodriquez, & Perez-Stable, 2000). Only few studies have
actually tried to locate IPV to the community sample, particularly among
Filipinos or in rural areas In this study, we assert that psychological capital
is a moderating variable in abuse-distress link, as well as the inhibition in
distress-somatization link with psychological distress as the mediating factor.