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1.  Relationship of child perceptions of maternal pain to children's laboratory and non-laboratory pain 
Previous research has established links between parent and child pain. Yet little is known about sex-specific parent-child pain relationships in a non-clinical population. A sample of 186 children aged 8–18 years (49% female) provided information on maternal and self bodily-pain, assessed by asking children about the presence and location of bodily pain experienced. Children also completed three laboratory pain tasks and reported on cold pressor pain intensity, pressure pain intensity and heat pain intensity. The presence of child-reported maternal pain was consistently correlated with daughters’ bodily and laboratory pain, but not with sons’ pain in bivariate analyses. Multivariate analyses controlling for child age and maternal psychological distress indicated that children of mothers with bodily pain reported more total bodily pain sites as well as greater pressure and cold pain intensity, relative to children of mothers without bodily pain. For cold pain intensity, these results differed for boys vs. girls, in that daughters reporting maternal pain evidenced significantly higher cold pain intensity compared to daughters not reporting maternal pain. No such differences were found for boys. The findings suggest that children’s perceptions of maternal pain may play a role in influencing children’s own experience of pain and that maternal pain models may affect boys and girls differently.
PMCID: PMC2642517  PMID: 18592057
pain; sex differences; social learning; children
2.  Relationship of child perceptions of maternal pain to children’s laboratory and nonlaboratory pain 
Previous research has established links between parent and child pain. However, little is known about sex-specific parent-child pain relationships in a nonclinical population. A sample of 186 children aged eight to 18 years (49% female) provided information on maternal and self bodily pain, assessed by asking children about the presence and location of bodily pain experienced. Children also completed three laboratory pain tasks and reported on cold pressor pain intensity, pressure pain intensity and heat pain intensity. The presence of child-reported maternal pain was consistently correlated with daughters’ bodily and laboratory pain, but not with sons’ pain in bivariate analyses. Multivariate analyses controlling for child age and maternal psychological distress indicated that children of mothers with bodily pain reported more total bodily pain sites as well as greater pressure and cold pain intensity, relative to children of mothers without bodily pain. For cold pain intensity, these results differed for boys versus girls, in that daughters reporting maternal pain evidenced significantly higher cold pain intensity compared with daughters not reporting maternal pain. No such differences were found for boys. The findings suggest that children’s perceptions of maternal pain may play a role in influencing children’s own experience of pain, and that maternal pain models may affect boys and girls differently.
PMCID: PMC2642517  PMID: 18592057
Children; Pain; Sex differences; Social learning
3.  Sex differences in the relationship between maternal negative life events and children’s laboratory pain responsivity 
Objective
Prior research has demonstrated links between psychosocial factors, including negative life events (NLE) and pain in children. The present study examined sex differences in the relationship between mother-reported NLE, child NLE, mother somatization and children’s laboratory pain responses for heat, cold and pressure pain tasks. We predicted that maternal NLE would be moderately associated with girls’ pain responses, but would not be associated with boys’ pain responses.
Method
Participants were 176 non-clinical children (89 boys) aged 8–18 years (mean = 12.2, SD = 2.7) and their mothers. Mothers and children completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of NLE experienced in the previous 12 months.
Results
Contrary to predictions, maternal NLE were related to pain responses in both boys and girls, although in opposite directions. Thus, increased maternal stress was associated with increased pain responses in girls but with decreased pain responses in boys. In addition, the impact of maternal NLE was only apparent for heat and pain tasks, indicating differential effects for various types of pain.
Conclusion
The current findings underscore the importance of family variables in understanding sex differences in children’s pain. Future research is needed to examine the mechanisms within the parent-child relationship that contribute to sex-differentiated pain outcomes, particularly under conditions of exacerbated parental stress.
doi:10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181b0ffe4
PMCID: PMC2813770  PMID: 19668092
negative life events; children’s laboratory pain; sex differences
4.  Persistent pain in a community-based sample of children and adolescents: Sex differences in psychological constructs 
The prevalence of persistent and recurrent pain among children and adolescents has important economic, social and psychological repercussions. The impact of chronic pain in children extends beyond the affected individuals – more than one-third of parents of children with pain report clinically significant levels of stress and depression. Although many pain-related psychological factors have been examined in chronic pediatric pain populations, much of that research involved clinical samples. Community-based research, however, is necessary to uncover the way pain is experienced by youth, regardless of whether treatment is sought or is available. This study aimed to ascertain the lifetime prevalence of pediatric pain in a Canadian community-based sample, and to explore age and sex differences in children who report persistent pain and those who do not with respect to several constructs believed to play important roles in the development and maintenance of persistent pain.
BACKGROUND:
Very few studies have investigated the psychological factors associated with the pain experiences of children and adolescents in community samples.
OBJECTIVES:
To examine the lifetime prevalence of, and psychological variables associated with, persistent pain in a community sample of children and adolescents, and to explore differences according to sex, age and pain history.
METHODS:
Participants completed the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI), the Child Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale (CPASS), the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children-10 (MASC-10), the Pain Catastrophizing Scale for Children (PCS-C) and a pain history questionnaire that assessed chronicity and pain frequency. After research ethics board approval, informed consent/assent was obtained from 1022 individuals recruited to participate in a study conducted at the Ontario Science Centre (Toronto, Ontario).
RESULTS:
Of the 1006 participants (54% female, mean [± SD] age 11.6±2.7 years) who provided complete data, 27% reported having experienced pain that lasted for three months or longer. A 2×2×2 (pain history, age and sex) multivariate ANOVA was conducted, with the total scores on the CASI, the CPASS, the MASC-10 and the PCS-C as dependent variables. Girls with a history of persistent pain expressed higher levels of anxiety sensitivity (P<0.001) and pain catastrophizing (P<0.001) than both girls without a pain history and boys regardless of pain history. This same pattern of results was found for anxiety and pain anxiety in the older, but not the younger, age group.
CONCLUSIONS:
Boys and girls appear to differ in terms of how age and pain history relate to the expression of pain-related psychological variables. Given the prevalence of persistent pain found in the study, more research is needed regarding the developmental implications of persistent pain in childhood and adolescence.
PMCID: PMC3206778  PMID: 22059200
Children; Persistent pain; Psychosocial factors; Sex differences
5.  Sex differences in parent and child pain ratings during an experimental child pain task 
Research in the field of pediatric pain has largely ignored the role of fathers in their children’s pain experiences. The first objective of the present study was to examine the effect of the presence of mothers versus fathers on children’s subjective ratings, facial expressions and physiological responses to acute pain. The second objective was to examine whether child and parent sex influence parents’ proxy ratings of their children’s pain. The final objective was to compare levels of agreement between mothers’ and fathers’ assessments of their children’s pain. Participants included 73 children (37 boys, 36 girls), four to 12 years of age, along with 32 fathers and 41 mothers. Children undertook the cold pressor pain task while observed by one of their parents. During the task, the children’s heart rates and facial expressions were recorded. Children provided self-reports and parents provided proxy reports of child pain intensity using the seven-point Faces Pain Scale. Neither child nor parent sex had a significant impact on children’s subjective reports, facial expressions or heart rates in response to acute pain. Fathers gave their sons higher pain ratings than their daughters, whereas mothers’ ratings of their sons’ and daughters’ pain did not differ. Kappa statistics and t tests revealed that fathers tended to be more accurate judges of their children’s pain than mothers. Overall, this research highlights the importance of examining both parent and child sex differences in pediatric pain research.
PMCID: PMC2671311  PMID: 18592059
Agreement; Assessment; Child; Cold pressor; Pain; Parent
6.  Sex differences in the relationship between maternal fear of pain and children’s conditioned pain modulation 
Journal of Pain Research  2013;6:231-238.
Background
Parental behaviors, emotions, and cognitions are known to influence children’s response to pain. However, prior work has not tested the association between maternal psychological factors and children’s responses to a conditioned pain modulation (CPM) task. CPM refers to the reduction in perceived pain intensity for a test stimulus following application of a conditioning stimulus to a remote area of the body, and is thought to reflect the descending inhibition of nociceptive signals.
Methods
The present study examined sex differences in the association between maternal anxiety about pain and children’s CPM responses in 133 healthy children aged 8–17 years. Maternal pain anxiety was assessed using the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20. In addition to the magnitude of CPM, children’s anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear of the CPM task were measured.
Results
Sequential multiple linear regression revealed that even after controlling for child age and general maternal psychological distress, greater maternal pain anxiety was significantly related to greater CPM anticipatory anxiety and pain-related fear in girls, and to less CPM (ie, less pain inhibition) in boys.
Conclusion
The findings indicate sex-specific relationships between maternal pain anxiety and children’s responses to a CPM task over and above that accounted for by the age of the child and the mother’s general psychological distress.
doi:10.2147/JPR.S43172
PMCID: PMC3615838  PMID: 23569396
diffuse noxious inhibitory controls; pediatric pain; mother-child relationship; cold pressor; pressure pain; laboratory pain
7.  Sociodemographic factors in a pediatric chronic pain clinic: The roles of age, sex and minority status in pain and health characteristics 
Journal of pain management  2010;3(3):273-281.
Little is known about how sociodemographic factors relate to children’s chronic pain. This paper describes the pain, health, and sociodemographic characteristics of a cohort of children presenting to an urban tertiary chronic pain clinic and documents the role of age, sex and minority status on pain-related characteristics. A multidisciplinary, tertiary clinic specializing in pediatric chronic pain. Two hundred and nineteen patients and their parents were given questionnaire packets to fill out prior to their intake appointment which included demographic information, clinical information, Child Health Questionnaire – Parent Report, Functional Disability Index – Parent Report, Child Somatization Index – Parent Report, and a Pain Intensity Scale. Additional clinical information was obtained from patients’ medical records via chart review. This clinical sample exhibited compromised functioning in a number of domains, including school attendance, bodily pain, and health compared to normative data. Patients also exhibited high levels of functional disability. Minority children evidenced decreased sleep, increased somatization, higher levels of functional disability, and increased pain intensity compared to Caucasians. Caucasians were more likely to endorse headaches than minorities, and girls were more likely than boys to present with fibromyalgia. Younger children reported better functioning than did teens. The results indicate that sociodemographic factors are significantly associated with several pain-related characteristics in children with chronic pain. Further research must address potential mechanisms of these relationships and applications for treatment.
PMCID: PMC3113686  PMID: 21686073
Chronic pain; pediatric; clinical cohort; ethnic differences
8.  Young Children's Probability of Dying Before and After Their Mother's Death: A Rural South African Population-Based Surveillance Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(3):e1001409.
Brian Houle and colleagues examine the temporal relationship between mother and child death by using 15 years of data (1994–2008) from household surveys conducted in the Agincourt sub-district of South Africa.
Background
There is evidence that a young child's risk of dying increases following the mother's death, but little is known about the risk when the mother becomes very ill prior to her death. We hypothesized that children would be more likely to die during the period several months before their mother's death, as well as for several months after her death. Therefore we investigated the relationship between young children's likelihood of dying and the timing of their mother's death and, in particular, the existence of a critical period of increased risk.
Methods and Findings
Data from a health and socio-demographic surveillance system in rural South Africa were collected on children 0–5 y of age from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2008. Discrete time survival analysis was used to estimate children's probability of dying before and after their mother's death, accounting for moderators. 1,244 children (3% of sample) died from 1994 to 2008. The probability of child death began to rise 6–11 mo prior to the mother's death and increased markedly during the 2 mo immediately before the month of her death (odds ratio [OR] 7.1 [95% CI 3.9–12.7]), in the month of her death (OR 12.6 [6.2–25.3]), and during the 2 mo following her death (OR 7.0 [3.2–15.6]). This increase in the probability of dying was more pronounced for children whose mothers died of AIDS or tuberculosis compared to other causes of death, but the pattern remained for causes unrelated to AIDS/tuberculosis. Infants aged 0–6 mo at the time of their mother's death were nine times more likely to die than children aged 2–5 y. The limitations of the study included the lack of knowledge about precisely when a very ill mother will die, a lack of information about child nutrition and care, and the diagnosis of AIDS deaths by verbal autopsy rather than serostatus.
Conclusions
Young children in lower income settings are more likely to die not only after their mother's death but also in the months before, when she is seriously ill. Interventions are urgently needed to support families both when the mother becomes very ill and after her death.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Over the past few years, there has been enormous international effort to meet the target set by Millennium Development Goal 4—to reduce the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds from the 1990 level by 2015. There has been some encouraging progress, and according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, in 2011, just under 7 million children less than five years died, a fall of almost 3 million from a decade ago. However, such efforts must also consider the health of the mother, as it is now also well established that the health of children is intrinsically linked to their mother's health: there is strong evidence from low- and middle-income countries that children's risk of dying increases around the time of their mother's death, particularly relating to the HIV pandemic in Africa.
Why Was This Study Done?
Previous studies examining the timing of a child's death relative to that of their mother have mainly focused on the period after the mother's death. So far, there have been few studies examining the link between a child's death and the period when his/her mother becomes ill and unable to care for and feed her child. In this study from the Agincourt sub-district in northeast South Africa, the researchers investigated the relationship between young children's chance (odds) of dying and the timing of their mother's death, particularly to examine whether there were critical periods of risk for children before their mother's death.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used the health and socio-demographic surveillance system in the area, which had 15 years (1994–2008) of information from yearly household surveys. The researchers focused on young children (0–6 months, 7–23 months, and 24–59 months) whose mothers had died, and through a statistical model, analysed the changes in the child's chance (odds) of dying from a year before the mother's death through to any time after her death during the study period. The cause of the mother's death was identified from verbal autopsy and categorized as being related to AIDS or tuberculosis (chronic) or other (mostly acute) causes not related to these infections. The researchers took other factors into account in their analysis and compared the odds of dying for children whose mothers died with those whose mothers were alive.
Using these methods, the researchers found that a total of 1,244 children (3% of the total sample) died between 1994 and 2008. Importantly, the researchers found that although the period when children are more likely to die began to increase in the period 6–11 months before their mother's death, there were three distinct periods of a much higher chance (odds) of death: the period 1–2 months before the month in which their mother died (odds ratio 7.1), the month of her death (odds ratio 12.6), and the period 1–2 months following her death (odds ratio 7.0). Furthermore, during the five-month period around the time of their mother's death, children (both boys and girls) aged 0–6 months were about nine times more likely to die than children aged 24–59 months. Finally, children were about 1.5 times more likely to die if their mother died of an AIDS/tuberculosis-related cause.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These finding suggest that in low-income settings, young children are more likely to die in the months before their mother's death, when she is seriously ill, not just in the period after her death. The chance of dying is particularly increased in very young children (0–6 months) and in children whose mother died of HIV/tuberculosis-related causes. Although this study had several limitations, such as limited information on the child's cause of death, this study highlights the urgent need for proactive and coordinated community-based interventions to support families, especially vulnerable children, when a mother becomes seriously ill, in addition to the period following her death.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001409.
The Countdown to 2015 initiative has the latest country information on progress in reducing maternal, neonatal, and child deaths
The World Health Organization has more information on Millennium Development Goal 4
The Joint United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS has information about the number of deaths from HIV-related causes
MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) has more information on the research platform that made this study possible
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001409
PMCID: PMC3608552  PMID: 23555200
9.  Characteristics of highly impaired children with severe chronic pain: a 5-year retrospective study on 2249 pediatric pain patients 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:54.
Background
Prevalence of pain as a recurrent symptom in children is known to be high, but little is known about children with high impairment from chronic pain seeking specialized treatment. The purpose of this study was the precise description of children with high impairment from chronic pain referred to the German Paediatric Pain Centre over a 5-year period.
Methods
Demographic variables, pain characteristics and psychometric measures were assessed at the first evaluation. Subgroup analysis for sex, age and pain location was conducted and multivariate logistic regression applied to identify parameters associated with extremely high impairment.
Results
The retrospective study consisted of 2249 children assessed at the first evaluation. Tension type headache (48%), migraine (43%) and functional abdominal pain (11%) were the most common diagnoses with a high rate of co-occurrence; 18% had some form of musculoskeletal pain disease. Irrespective of pain location, chronic pain disorder with somatic and psychological factors was diagnosed frequently (43%). 55% of the children suffered from more than one distinct pain diagnosis. Clinically significant depression and general anxiety scores were expressed by 24% and 19% of the patients, respectively. Girls over the age of 13 were more likely to seek tertiary treatment compared to boys. Nearly half of children suffered from daily or constant pain with a mean pain value of 6/10. Extremely high pain-related impairment, operationalized as a comprehensive measure of pain duration, frequency, intensity, pain-related school absence and disability, was associated with older age, multiple locations of pain, increased depression and prior hospital stays. 43% of the children taking analgesics had no indication for pharmacological treatment.
Conclusion
Children with chronic pain are a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge as they often have two or more different pain diagnoses, are prone to misuse of analgesics and are severely impaired. They are at increased risk for developmental stagnation. Adequate treatment and referral are essential to interrupt progression of the chronic pain process into adulthood.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-54
PMCID: PMC3404028  PMID: 22591492
Children; Chronic pain; Impairment; Risk factors; Pediatric
10.  Individual and Additive Effects of Mothers’ and Fathers’ Chronic Pain on Health Outcomes in Young Adults With a Childhood History of Functional Abdominal Pain 
Journal of Pediatric Psychology  2013;38(4):365-375.
Objective To evaluate effects of mothers’ and fathers’ chronic pain on health outcomes in adult sons and daughters with a childhood history of functional abdominal pain (FAP). Method Adults (n = 319; Mean age = 22.09 years) with a childhood history of FAP reported parental history of chronic pain and their own current health (chronic pain, somatic symptoms, disability, use of medication and health care, illness-related job loss). Results Positive histories of maternal and paternal chronic pain were each associated with poorer health in sons and daughters, regardless of child or parent gender. Having 2 parents with chronic pain was associated with significantly poorer health than having 1 or neither parent with chronic pain. Conclusions Chronic pain in both mothers and fathers is associated with poor health and elevated health service use in young adults with a childhood history of FAP. Having both parents with chronic pain increases risk for adverse outcomes.
doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jss131
PMCID: PMC3633252  PMID: 23335355
disability; functional gastrointestinal disorder; gender; health service utilization; parents; somatic symptoms
11.  Health-related quality of life in girls and boys with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: self- and parental reports in a cross-sectional study 
Background
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) affects children and adolescents with both short-term and long-term disability. These children also report lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) compared to their healthy peers. However, there seems to be some discrepancies between self- and parent-reports, and gender differences need to be further studied. This study aims to describe HRQOL in girls and boys with JIA, and to explore gender differences in self-reports compared to parent-reports of HRQOL in children with JIA.
Methods
Fifty-three children and adolescents with JIA (70% girls and 30% boys) with a median age of 14 years (8–18 years), and their parents, participated in this cross-sectional study in Sweden. Data was systematically collected prior to ordinary visits at a Pediatric outpatient clinic, during a period of 16 months (2009–2010). Disability was assessed with the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ), and disease activity by physicians’ assessments and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR). The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 Generic Core Scales (PedsQL) was used to assess self- and parent-reports of HRQOL in the child.
Results
In this sample of children with generally low disease activity and mild to moderate disability, more than half of the children experienced suboptimal HRQOL, equally in girls and boys. Significant differences between self- and parent-reports of child HRQOL were most evident among girls, with lower parent-reports regarding the girl’s physical- and psychosocial health as well as in the total HRQOL score. Except for the social functioning subscale, where parents’ reports were higher compared to their sons, there were no significant differences between boys- and parent-reports.
Conclusions
More than half of the girls and boys experienced suboptimal HRQOL in this sample, with no gender differences. However, there were differences between self- and parent-reports of child HRQOL, with most significant differences found among the girls. Thus, differences between self- and parent-reports of child HRQOL must be taken into account in clinical settings, especially among girls with JIA.
doi:10.1186/1546-0096-10-33
PMCID: PMC3523024  PMID: 22985358
Adolescent; Child; Gender; Parents; Pediatrics; Questionnaire
12.  Parent and child anxiety sensitivity: Relationship to children’s experimental pain responsivity 
Anxiety sensitivity (AS) or fear of anxiety sensations has been linked to childhood learning history for somatic symptoms, suggesting that parental AS may impact children’s responses to pain. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), we tested a conceptual model in which parent AS predicted child AS, which in turn predicted a hypothesized latent construct consisting of children’s pain intensity ratings for three laboratory pain tasks (cold pressor, thermal heat and pressure). This conceptual model was tested in 211 non-clinical parent-child pairs (104 girls, mean age = 12.4 years; 178 mothers). Our model was supported in girls only indicating that the sex of the child moderated the hypothesized relationships. Thus, parent AS was related to child laboratory pain intensity via its contribution to child AS in girls but not in boys. In girls, 42% of the effect of parent AS on laboratory pain intensity was explained via child AS. In boys, there was no clear link between parent AS and child AS, although child AS was predictive of experimental pain intensity across sex. Our results are consistent with the notion that parent AS may operate via healthy girls’ own fear of anxiety symptoms to influence their responses to laboratory pain stimuli.
Perspective-The present study highlights sex differences in the links among parent and child anxiety sensitivity (AS; fear of anxiety sensations) and children’s experimental pain responses. Among girls, childhood learning history related to somatic symptoms may be a particularly salient factor in the development of AS and pain responsivity.
doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2005.12.004
PMCID: PMC1540407  PMID: 16632321
anxiety sensitivity; laboratory pain; children; adolescents; parent; sex differences
13.  In vivo assessment of number of milk duct orifices in lactating women and association with parameters in the mother and the infant 
Background
In vitro and in vivo analyses differ between the number of milk ducts found in the lactating breast, and there is a lack of knowledge as to whether or not external factors in the mother or the child affect the number of ductal orifices. The aim of this study was to determine the number of milk duct orifices in vivo and to investigate the possible influence of variable parameters in mother and infant.
Methods
Study design: Prospective clinical trial. In 98 breastfeeding women we investigated the nipple surface in order to identify the number of milk duct orifices using Marmet’s manual milk expression technique. In addition mothers were interviewed on different parameters of birth and breastfeeding.
Results
Every nipple had 3.90 ± 1.48 milk duct orifices on average. There was no significant difference between left and right breasts. The use of a breast pump in addition to breastfeeding did not have any effect on the number of ductal orifices. Multiparous women exhibited more ductal orifices (8.5 ± 3.0) as compared to primipara (7.1 ± 2.7). Boys were associated with significantly more ductal orifices in their mother’s right breast (4.2 ± 1.7) than girls (3.5 ± 1.4). Furthermore boys were breastfed for longer per session. A shorter birth height of males correlated with more ductal orifices in left nipples. Fluid intake of mothers was associated with a higher number of ductal orifices. Restless infant behavior could not be explained by less milk duct orifices. Pain in the breast during breastfeeding did not have an influence on ductal orifices either. Psychological criteria, such as duration of maternity leave and total intended breastfeeding period, did not affect the number of orifices in the papilla mammaria of breasts during lactation.
Conclusion
For the first time an in vivo investigation of the number of ductal orifices in lactating women was conducted non-invasively and associations with variables in the mother and the child, birth parameters in infants, and breastfeeding parameters in mothers and children were assessed. We conclude that the number of activated ductal orifices on the surface of the nipple is primarily associated with functional aspects.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-124
PMCID: PMC3992155  PMID: 24694236
14.  Factors influencing mother-child reports of depressive symptoms and agreement among clinically referred depressed youngsters in Hungary 
Journal of affective disorders  2006;100(1-3):143-151.
Background
Psychiatric assessments of children typically involve two informants, the child and the parent. Understanding discordance in their reports has been of interest to clinicians and researchers. We examine differences between mothers’ and children’s report of children’s depressive symptom severity, and factors that may influence their reports and level of agreement. We hypothesized that agreement between mother and child would improve if (1) the mother is depressed, due to improved recall of mood congruent symptoms, (2) the child is older, due to better social-cognitive and communication skills, and (3) the child is a female.
Methods
Subjects were 354 children (158 girls; mean age 11.69 years, s.d.: 2.05 years) with Major Depressive Disorder. Depressive symptoms were evaluated by a semi-structured interview separately with the mother and the child. Agreement on symptom severity was based on concordance of the presence and extent of symptoms.
Results
Maternal reports were significantly higher than their son’s but not daughters’. Girls, particularly with increasing age, reported higher levels of symptoms; however mothers’ reports were not affected by child sex or age. Maternal depression predicted more severe symptom reports for both children and mothers. Agreement between the mother and the child increased as children got older.
Limitations
The same clinician interviewed the mother and the child, which might inflate rates of agreement. However, this method mirrors clinical evaluation.
Conclusions
During a clinical interview one must consider the age and sex of the child and the depressive state of the mother in assimilating information about the child.
doi:10.1016/j.jad.2006.10.008
PMCID: PMC2909647  PMID: 17125844
mother-child agreement; depressive symptoms; maternal depression; age; sex of child
15.  What do the parents of children who have chronic pain expect from their first visit to a pediatric chronic pain clinic? 
BACKGROUND:
Chronic pain in childhood is increasingly recognized as a significant clinical problem. Best-practice management of pediatric chronic pain in a multidisciplinary pain clinic involves a variety of treatment modalities. It is important that parents of children treated in these settings understand the different treatment options available for their children. By involving parents more effectively, care providers may more efficiently address unmet treatment needs and improve tailoring of treatment programs aimed at increasing function, reducing pain-related disability and improving quality of life.
OBJECTIVES:
To explore the expectations held by parents for their first visit to a pediatric multidisciplinary pain clinic.
METHODS:
Fourteen parents completed a paper-based survey exploring their expectations immediately before their first visit to a multidisciplinary pediatric pain clinic in a tertiary care children’s hospital.
RESULTS:
Responses from parents suggest a clear desire for information about the causes of their child’s pain, treatment options available at the pain clinic, effective strategies to enhance children’s ability to cope with pain, and the effects of pain on both body and mood. Most parents rated the various treatment options as important for their child. All parents indicated it was very important to have the pain team ‘be there’ for them.
CONCLUSIONS:
These findings indicate that parents want more information about chronic pain and treatment options. Pediatric chronic pain clinics have the ability to assist children with chronic pain and their families considerably by providing information about chronic pain and the various treatment options available to them.
PMCID: PMC2912615  PMID: 20577658
Adolescents; Children; Chronic pain; Expectations; Parents
16.  The impact of children’s sex composition on parents’ mortality 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):989.
Background
This study explores the relationship between children’s sex composition and parents’ mortality in a contemporary western society. It improves on earlier research by using a larger and more representative dataset – constructed from registers and encompassing the entire Norwegian population.
Methods
The analysis is based on discrete-time hazard models, estimated for the years 1980–2008 for women and men born after 1935.
Results
When operationalising sex composition as the “number of boys”, coefficients are insignificant in all specifications. However, when considering the three categories “only boys”, “only girls” and “mixed sex”, I find a small but significant disadvantage of having only girls, compared to having at least one child of each sex, for mothers of two or more children. Having only daughters is associated with a mortality disadvantage compared to having only sons for mothers of two children, but a mortality advantage among mothers with four children. Among women who gave birth to their first child as teenagers, those who have only sons have relatively high mortality. I also find an excess mortality both for mothers of only girls and mothers of only boys in the period 1980–1989.
Conclusion
These results lend some support to the notion that there is a larger benefit of the first son or daughter than the later children of the same sex, and especially in the earliest decade of the study period.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-989
PMCID: PMC4179844  PMID: 25246080
Mortality; Children’s sex composition; Register data; Norway
17.  Pubertal status moderates the association between mother and child laboratory pain tolerance 
BACKGROUND:
There is limited information regarding the relationship between parent and child responses to laboratory pain induction in the absence of experimental manipulation.
OBJECTIVES:
To assess the association between responses to cold and pressure pain tasks in 133 nonclinical mothers and children (mean age 13.0 years; 70 girls), and the moderating effects of child sex and pubertal status on these mother-child relationships.
METHODS:
Mothers and children independently completed the cold and pressure pain tasks. Multiple linear regression analyses examined the association between mothers’ and children’s laboratory pain responses. The moderating effects of child sex and pubertal status were tested in the linear models by examining the interaction among mother laboratory pain responses, and child sex and pubertal status.
RESULTS:
Mothers’ cold pain anticipatory anxiety and pressure pain intensity were associated with children’s pressure pain anticipatory anxiety. Mothers’ pressure pain tolerance was associated with children’s pain tolerance for both the cold and pressure pain tasks. Mothers’ cold pain tolerance was associated with children’s pressure pain tolerance. Pubertal status moderated two of the three significant mother-child pain tolerance relationships, such that the associations held for early pubertal but not for late pubertal children. Sex did not moderate mother-child pain associations.
CONCLUSIONS:
The results indicate that mother-child pain relationships are centred primarily on pain avoidance behaviour, particularly among prepubertal children. These findings may inform interventions focused on pain behaviours, with a particular emphasis on mothers of prepubertal children, to reduce acute pain responses in their children.
PMCID: PMC3938339  PMID: 24367794
Adolescents; Children; Cold pressor task; Experimental pain; Parents
18.  Chronic pain and pain-related disability across psychiatric disorders in a clinical adolescent sample 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:272.
Background
People who suffer from psychiatric disorders are burdened with a high prevalence of chronic illnesses and pain, but evidence on pain prevalence among adolescents with psychiatric disorders is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency and location of self-reported chronic pain and pain-related disability in adolescent psychiatric patients.
Methods
This study was part of the larger Health Survey administered at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) at St. Olav’s University Hospital, in Trondheim, Norway. All patients aged 13–18 years who visited the CAP clinic at least once between February 15, 2009 and February 15, 2011 were invited to participate. A total of 717 (43.5% of eligible/invited patients) participated; of these, 566 were diagnosed with one or more psychiatric disorders. The adolescents completed a questionnaire, which included questions about pain and pain-related disability. Clinical diagnoses were classified by a clinician according to International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision criteria.
Results
In adolescents with psychiatric disorders, 70.4% reported chronic pain, and 37.3% experienced chronic pain in three or more locations (multisite pain). Chronic musculoskeletal pain was the most prevalent type of pain (57.7%). Pain-related disability was found in 22.2% of the sample. The frequency of chronic pain and multisite pain increased with age, and girls reported a higher frequency of chronic pain, multisite pain and pain-related disability than boys did. There was an increased risk of chronic pain among adolescents with mood or anxiety disorders versus those with hyperkinetic disorders, yet this was not present after adjusting for sex. Comorbidity between hyperkinetic and mood or anxiety disorders involved an increased risk of pain-related disability.
Conclusions
In this study, seven out of 10 adolescents with psychiatric disorders reported chronic pain. These findings indicate the importance of early detection of chronic pain in adolescents with psychiatric disorders, to provide targeted treatment and reduce poor long-term outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-272
PMCID: PMC3853574  PMID: 24139217
Chronic pain; Disability; Prevalence; Psychiatric disorders; Adolescents
19.  Substance use in children of parents with chronic pain – the HUNT study 
Journal of Pain Research  2014;7:483-494.
Purpose
The aim of the present study was to investigate possible associations between parental chronic pain and smoking, alcohol, and drug use in adolescent offspring.
Methods
Cross-sectional data from Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT 3), a Norwegian population-based health survey conducted in the period 2006–2008 was utilized. The present sample consisted of adolescents aged 13–18 years (n=3,227) for whom information was available on maternal and paternal health statuses.
Results
Results from multivariable ordinal and binary logistic regression analyses, adjusting for potential confounding factors (child age, parental age, education, and organ specific illness) indicated that the estimated odds ratios (OR) for smoking (OR =1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.00, 3.05], P=0.049) and alcohol intoxication (drunkenness) (OR =1.56, 95% CI [1.05, 2.33], P=0.029) were higher for boys whose mother and father had chronic pain, compared with boys for whom neither parent had chronic pain. These associations were slightly attenuated by additional adjustment for pain-related factors, such as parental smoking and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Parental chronic pain was not significantly associated with girls’ levels of substance use. There were significant interaction effects between parental chronic pain and child sex on offspring’s alcohol intoxication and smoking.
Conclusion
The present study expands on existing knowledge and provides groundwork for preventive and specific measures targeting substance use in families burdened with parental chronic pain.
doi:10.2147/JPR.S67819
PMCID: PMC4149451  PMID: 25187735
adolescents; chronic pain; smoking; alcohol; drugs
20.  Family sources of educational gender inequality in rural china: A critical assessment 
In this paper, we investigate the gender gap in education in rural northwest China. We first discuss parental perceptions of abilities and appropriate roles for girls and boys; parental concerns about old-age support; and parental perceptions of different labor market outcomes for girls' and boys' education. We then investigate gender disparities in investments in children, children's performance at school, and children's subsequent attainment. We analyze a survey of 9-12-year-old children and their families conducted in rural Gansu Province in the year 2000, along with follow-up information about subsequent educational attainment collected 7 years later. We complement our main analysis with two illustrative case studies of rural families drawn from 11 months of fieldwork conducted in rural Gansu between 2003 and 2005 by the second author.
In 2000, most mothers expressed egalitarian views about girls' and boys' rights and abilities, in the abstract. However, the vast majority of mothers still expected to rely on sons for old-age support, and nearly one in five mothers interviewed agreed with the traditional saying, “Sending girls to school is useless since they will get married and leave home.” Compared to boys, girls faced somewhat lower (though still very high) maternal educational expectations and a greater likelihood of being called on for household chores than boys. However, there was little evidence of a gender gap in economic investments in education. Girls rivaled or outperformed boys in academic performance and engagement. Seven years later, boys had attained just about a third of a year more schooling than girls-a quite modest advantage that could not be fully explained by early parental attitudes and investments, or student performance or engagement. Fieldwork confirmed that parents of sons and daughters tended to have high aspirations for their children. Parents sometimes viewed boys as having greater aptitude, but tended to view girls as having more dedication-an attribute parents perceived as being critical for educational success. Findings suggest that at least in Gansu, rural parental educational attitudes and practices toward boys and girls are more complicated and less uniformly negative for girls than commonly portrayed.
doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2009.04.007
PMCID: PMC2753976  PMID: 20161037
21.  Psychological interventions for parents of children and adolescents with chronic illness 
Background
Psychological therapies have been developed for parents of children and adolescents with a chronic illness. Such therapies include parent only or parent and child/adolescent, and are designed to treat parent behaviour, parent mental health, child behaviour/disability, child mental health, child symptoms and/or family functioning. No comprehensive, meta-analytic reviews have been published in this area.
Objectives
To evaluate the effectiveness of psychological therapies that include coping strategies for parents of children/adolescents with chronic illnesses (painful conditions, cancer, diabetes mellitus, asthma, traumatic brain injury, inflammatory bowel diseases, skin diseases or gynaecological disorders). The therapy will aim to improve parent behaviour, parent mental health, child behaviour/disability, child mental health, child symptoms and family functioning.
Search methods
We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsyclNFO for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psychological interventions that included parents of children and adolescents with a chronic illness. The initial search was from inception of these databases to June 2011 and we conducted a follow-up search from June 2011 to March 2012. We identified additional studies from the reference list of retrieved papers and from discussion with investigators.
Selection criteria
Included studies were RCTs of psychological interventions that delivered treatment to parents of children and adolescents (under 19 years of age) with a chronic illness compared to active control, wait list control or treatment as usual. We excluded studies if the parent component was a coaching intervention, the aim of the intervention was health prevention/promotion, the comparator was a pharmacological treatment, the child/adolescent had an illness not listed above or the study included children with more than one type of chronic illness. Further to this, we excluded studies when the sample size of either comparator group was fewer than 10 at post-treatment.
Data collection and analysis
We included 35 RCTs involving a total of 2723 primary trial participants. Two review authors extracted data from 26 studies. We analysed data using two categories. First, we analysed data by each medical condition across all treatment classes at two time points (immediately post-treatment and the first available follow-up). Second, we analysed data by each treatment class (cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family therapy (FT), problem solving therapy (PST) and multisystemic therapy (MST)) across all medical conditions at two time points (immediately post-treatment and the first available follow-up). We assessed treatment effectiveness on six possible outcomes: parent behaviour, parent mental health, child behaviour/disability, child mental health, child symptoms and family functioning.
Main results
Across all treatment types, psychological therapies that included parents significantly improved child symptoms for painful conditions immediately post-treatment. Across all medical conditions, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) significantly improved child symptoms and problem solving therapy significantly improved parent behaviour and parent mental health immediately post-treatment. There were no other effects at post-treatment or follow-up. The risk of bias of included studies is described.
Authors' conclusions
There is no evidence on the effectiveness of psychological therapies that include parents in most outcome domains of functioning, for a large number of common chronic illnesses in children. There is good evidence for the effectiveness of including parents in psychological therapies that reduce pain in children with painful conditions. There is also good evidence for the effectiveness of CBT that includes parents for improving the primary symptom complaints when available data were included from chronic illness conditions. Finally, there is good evidence for the effectiveness of problem solving therapy delivered to parents on improving parent problem solving skills and parent mental health. All effects are immediately post-treatment. There are no significant findings for any treatment effects in any condition at follow-up.
doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009660.pub2
PMCID: PMC3551454  PMID: 22895990
22.  An Experimental Paradigm for the Prediction of Post-Operative Pain (PPOP) 
Many women undergo cesarean delivery without problems, however some experience significant pain after cesarean section. Pain is associated with negative short-term and long-term effects on the mother. Prior to women undergoing surgery, can we predict who is at risk for developing significant postoperative pain and potentially prevent or minimize its negative consequences? These are the fundamental questions that a team from the University of Washington, Stanford University, the Catholic University in Brussels, Belgium, Santa Joana Women's Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, and Rambam Medical Center in Israel is currently evaluating in an international research collaboration. The ultimate goal of this project is to provide optimal pain relief during and after cesarean section by offering individualized anesthetic care to women who appear to be more 'susceptible' to pain after surgery.
A significant number of women experience moderate or severe acute post-partum pain after vaginal and cesarean deliveries. 1 Furthermore, 10-15% of women suffer chronic persistent pain after cesarean section. 2 With constant increase in cesarean rates in the US 3 and the already high rate in Brazil, this is bound to create a significant public health problem. When questioning women's fears and expectations from cesarean section, pain during and after it is their greatest concern. 4 Individual variability in severity of pain after vaginal or operative delivery is influenced by multiple factors including sensitivity to pain, psychological factors, age, and genetics. The unique birth experience leads to unpredictable requirements for analgesics, from 'none at all' to 'very high' doses of pain medication. Pain after cesarean section is an excellent model to study post-operative pain because it is performed on otherwise young and healthy women. Therefore, it is recommended to attenuate the pain during the acute phase because this may lead to chronic pain disorders. The impact of developing persistent pain is immense, since it may impair not only the ability of women to care for their child in the immediate postpartum period, but also their own well being for a long period of time.
In a series of projects, an international research network is currently investigating the effect of pregnancy on pain modulation and ways to predict who will suffer acute severe pain and potentially chronic pain, by using simple pain tests and questionnaires in combination with genetic analysis. A relatively recent approach to investigate pain modulation is via the psychophysical measure of Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Control (DNIC). This pain-modulating process is the neurophysiological basis for the well-known phenomenon of 'pain inhibits pain' from remote areas of the body. The DNIC paradigm has evolved recently into a clinical tool and simple test and has been shown to be a predictor of post-operative pain.5 Since pregnancy is associated with decreased pain sensitivity and/or enhanced processes of pain modulation, using tests that investigate pain modulation should provide a better understanding of the pathways involved with pregnancy-induced analgesia and may help predict pain outcomes during labor and delivery. For those women delivering by cesarean section, a DNIC test performed prior to surgery along with psychosocial questionnaires and genetic tests should enable one to identify women prone to suffer severe post-cesarean pain and persistent pain. These clinical tests should allow anesthesiologists to offer not only personalized medicine to women with the promise to improve well-being and satisfaction, but also a reduction in the overall cost of perioperative and long term care due to pain and suffering. On a larger scale, these tests that explore pain modulation may become bedside screening tests to predict the development of pain disorders following surgery.
doi:10.3791/1671
PMCID: PMC2818706  PMID: 20107427
23.  Intergenerational Transmission of Multiple Problem Behaviors: Prospective Relationships between Mothers and Daughters 
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology  2009;37(8):1035-1048.
Much of the research examining intergenerational continuity of problems from mother to offspring has focused on homotypic continuity (e.g., depression), despite the fact that different types of mental health problems tend to cluster in both adults and children. It remains unclear whether mothers with multiple mental health problems compared to mothers with fewer or no problems are more likely to have daughters with multiple mental health problems during middle childhood (ages 7 to 11). Six waves of maternal and child data from the Pittsburgh Girls Study (n = 2,451) were used to examine the specificity of effects of maternal psychopathology on child adjustment. Child multiple mental health problems comprised disruptive behavior, ADHD symptoms, depressed mood, anxiety symptoms and somatic complaints, while maternal multiple mental health problems consisted of depression, prior conduct problems and somatic complaints. Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) was used to examine the prospective relationships between mother’s single and multiple mental health problems and their daughter’s single and multiple mental health problems across the elementary school-aged period (ages 7–11 years). The results show that multiple mental health problems in the mothers predicted multiple mental health problems in the daughters even when earlier mental health problem of the daughters, demographic factors, and childrearing practices were controlled. Maternal low parental warmth and harsh punishment independently contributed to the prediction of multiple mental health problems in their daughter, but mediation analyses showed that the contribution of parenting behaviors to the explanation of girls’ mental health problems was small.
doi:10.1007/s10802-009-9337-x
PMCID: PMC2766045  PMID: 19639406
Multiple problem behaviors in mothers; Multiple problem behaviors in daughters; Disruptive behavior; Depressed mood; Parenting
24.  Children with unexplained chronic pain: substantial impairment in everyday life 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2005;90(7):680-686.
Aims: To describe and quantify impairment in an outpatient population of children with chronic pain of unknown origin (UCP).
Methods: A total of 149 children who presented with pain of at least three months' duration and without a satisfactory explanation at presentation were studied. Number of somatic complaints (Children's Somatisation Inventory, CSI), pain intensity (VAS, 0–10 cm), functional disability (Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-CF) and clinical history), and general health perceptions (CHQ) were determined.
Results: Mean age of the children was 11.8 years; 73% were girls. Overall, 72% suffered impairment in sports activities, 51% reported absence from school, 40% experienced limitations in social functioning, and 34% had problems with sleeping. Mean number of somatic symptoms differed significantly between boys (8.4) and girls (10.7). The CHQ-CF scores for physical functioning, role/social functioning, and general health perceptions were 76.4, 70.7, and 57.5, respectively, indicating substantial impairment on all domains. The mean pain intensity was 4.7 for current and 7.1 for worst pain. Children solely evaluated by a general practitioner prior to referral reported less, though still substantial, impairment. Low general health perceptions, impaired role/social functioning, high pain intensity, and having headache or musculoskeletal pain were independent predictors of having significant impairment.
Conclusions: Referred children with UCP show substantial impairment on multiple domains in daily life.
doi:10.1136/adc.2004.056820
PMCID: PMC1720481  PMID: 15899922
25.  First-Year Maternal Employment and Child Development in the First Seven Years 
Using data from the first 2 phases of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care, we examine the links between maternal employment in the first 12 months of life and cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes for children at age 3, age 4½, and first grade. Drawing on theory and prior research from developmental psychology as well as economics and sociology, we address three main questions. First, what associations exist between first-year maternal employment and cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes for children over the first seven years of life? Second, to what extent do any such associations vary by the child’s gender and temperament, or the mother’s occupation? Third, to what extent do mother’s earnings, the home environment (maternal depressive symptoms, sensitivity, and HOME scores), and the type and quality of child care mediate or offset any associations between first-year employment and child outcomes, and what is the net effect of first-year maternal employment once these factors are taken into account?
We compare families in which mothers worked full time (55%), part time (23%), or did not work (22%) in the first year for non-Hispanic white children (N=900) and for African-American children (N=113). Comparisons are also made taking into account the timing of mothers’ employment within the first year. A rich set of control variables are included. OLS and SEM analyses are constructed.
With regard to cognitive outcomes, first, we find that full-time maternal employment in the first 12 months of life (but not part-time employment) is associated with significantly lower scores on some, but not all, measures of cognitive development at age 3, 4 ½, and first grade for non-Hispanic white children, but with no significant associations for the small sample of African-American children Part-time employment in the first year is associated with higher scores than full-time employment for some measures. Employment in the second and third year of life is not associated with the cognitive outcomes. Second, we examine the role of the child’s gender and temperament and the mother’s occupation in moderating the associations between first-year maternal employment and cognitive outcomes, but find few significant interactions for either child characteristics or mother’s occupation. Third, we examine the role of an extensive set of potential mediators – the mother’s earnings, the home environment, and the type and quality of child care. We find that mothers who worked full time have higher income in the first year of life and thereafter, that mothers who worked part time have higher HOME and maternal sensitivity scores than mothers who did not work or worked full time, and that mothers who worked either full time or part time were more likely to place their children in high-quality child care by age 3 and 4 ½ and their children spent more time in center-based care by age 4 ½ than in families where mothers did not work in the first year of life. However, we also find some links between first-year maternal employment and elevated levels of maternal depressive symptoms thereafter. Turning to results from structural equation modeling, we find that the overall effects of first-year maternal employment on the cognitive outcomes are neutral. This occurs because significantly negative direct effects of full-time first-year employment are offset by significantly positive indirect effects working through more use of center-based care and greater maternal sensitivity by age 4 ½.
Regarding social and emotional outcomes, several findings, again limited to non-Hispanic white children, stand out. First, we find no significant associations between first-year maternal employment and later social and emotional outcomes (including attachment security) when comparing children whose mothers worked full-time or part-time in the first year with the reference group of children whose mothers did not work in the first year, although in models that take the timing of employment within the first year into account, we find some significant associations between full-time maternal employment in the first year and higher levels of caregiver- or teacher-reported externalizing problems at age 4 ½ and first grade. Second, part-time maternal employment by 12 months tends to be associated with fewer externalizing problems at age 4 ½ and first grade than full time maternal employment by 12 months. These results are unchanged when we allow for the possibility of moderation by child characteristics or maternal occupation. Third, the results from SEM models indicate that, while neither full-time nor part-time first-year employment has significant total effects on children’s externalizing behavior problems at age 4 ½ or first grade, part-time first-year employment has indirect positive effects, working primarily through differences in the home environment and maternal sensitivity. Another important finding from the SEM models is that center-based care, which is often associated with maternal employment, is not significantly associated with elevated levels of child behavior problems.
Taken together, our findings provide new insight as to the net effects of first-year maternal employment as well as the potential pathways through which associations between first-year maternal employment and later child outcomes, where present, come about. Our SEM results indicate that, on average, the associations between first-year maternal employment and later cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes are neutral, because negative effects, where present, are offset by positive effects. These results confirm that maternal employment in the first year of life may confer both advantages and disadvantages and that for the average non-Hispanic white child, those effects balance each other.
doi:10.1111/j.1540-5834.2010.00562.x
PMCID: PMC4139074  PMID: 25152543

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