Original ArticlesPathway Linking Different Types of Childhood Trauma to Somatic Symptoms in a Subclinical Sample of Female College Students The Mediating Role of Experiential AvoidanceHeshmati, Rasoul PhD∗; Azmoodeh, Shahin PhD†; Caltabiano, Marie L. PhD‡ Author Information ∗Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz †Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran ‡College of Healthcare Sciences, Division of Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia. Send reprint requests to Rasoul Heshmati, PhD, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran. E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2021 - Volume 209 - Issue 7 - p 497-504 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001323 Buy Metrics Abstract Research has shown that women are more prone to childhood trauma and this state is associated with somatic symptoms. Also, people who have been exposed to traumatic experiences use experiential avoidance to reduce negative emotions. However, the mediating role of experiential avoidance in the relationship between childhood trauma and somatic symptoms is not clear, so, the present study investigated whether the relationships among different types of childhood trauma and somatic symptoms could be explained by experiential avoidance in female college students. In a cross-sectional study, 251 Iranian female college students with somatic symptoms were recruited from the University of Tabriz. Participants completed self-report scales, including the Persian version of Child Abuse Self-Reported Scale, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), and the Patient-health questionnaire (PHQ-15). A path analysis was used to empirically explore the relationships. Structural equation modeling analyses confirmed a partial mediation model. Study participants who had a higher level of emotional trauma reported higher levels of somatic symptoms. Emotional and neglect trauma showed significant positive relations with experiential avoidance. Bootstrapping results showed that experiential avoidance partially mediated the relationship between emotional trauma and somatic symptoms. Moreover, the association between neglect and somatic symptoms was fully mediated by experiential avoidance. These findings suggest that experiential avoidance might be one mechanism explaining how adverse emotional and neglect experiences influence somatic symptoms. Interventions addressing experiential avoidance through methods such as emotion-focused therapy and mindfulness are discussed as potential future directions for treating somatic symptoms in females who experienced emotional and neglect trauma. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.