An investigation was carried out with 3 groups of children to compare pupillary reactions (as an index of autonomic function) in response to stress induced by the cold pressor test. It was found that normal pupillary reactions are modified in children who have recurrent abdominal pain without physical cause and also in children with behaviour problems. It is suggested that disturbances of autonomic function merit further investigation in psychosomatic and emotional disorders, both as a method of diagnosis and to help elucidate the underlying mechanisms whereby symptoms may be produced.
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