Functions of Complaints on Sleep Disturbances and Sleepiness in Interpersonal Communication: Cultural-Historical Approach in Psychosomatics



From the perspective of cultural-historical approach to psychosomatics, psychogenic symptoms may increase or become chronic by acquiring meaning and functions in interpersonal communication (for example, receiving support, justification, etc.). The paper explores the functions of two common complaints — of sleep disturbances and sleepiness — and their correlation with the expressiveness of these complaints in typically developing individuals. It was assumed that both the complaints and their expression would be related to personal beliefs about the functions of these symptoms in communication. 113 adults without sleeping disorders evaluated their somatic complaints (including complaints of sleep disturbances and sleepiness) as well as the functions with which people can use these complaints in communication; described their beliefs about these symptoms and their causes; filled in the screening for somatoform symptoms, the questionnaire for cognitive representations of body and health, the scales of the locus of control, causality and self-efficacy related to illness and treatment. Following the statistical control of common factors of hypochondrization, sleep disturbances were predicted by the possibility of using them to obtain instrumental support, while expressing these complaints was predicted by the possibility of using them to obtain emotional support.

General Information

Keywords: psychosomatics, cultural-historical approach in psychosomatics, functions of somatic complaints in interpersonal communication, sleep disturbances, sleepiness

Journal rubric: Empirical Research


Funding. Research is supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 17-06-00363 “Cognitive mechanisms of sleep disturbances and their formation in ontogenesis”.

For citation: Rasskazova E.I. Functions of Complaints on Sleep Disturbances and Sleepiness in Interpersonal Communication: Cultural-Historical Approach in Psychosomatics. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2019. Vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 44–55. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2019150405. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena I. Rasskazova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Neuro- and Patopsychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Senior Researcher,Mental Health Research Center, Senior Researcher, International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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