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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.  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
4.  Too sick for school? Parent influences on school functioning among children with chronic pain 
Pain  2011;153(2):10.1016/j.pain.2011.11.004.
Parental responses to children with chronic pain have been shown to influence the extent of the child’s functional disability, but these associations have not been well-studied in relation to children’s pain-related school functioning. The current study tests the hypothesis that parental pain catastrophizing and parental protective responses to child pain influence the extent of school impairment in children with chronic pain. A mediational model was tested to determine whether parental protective behaviors serve a mediating role between parental pain catastrophizing and child school impairment. Study participants were a clinical sample of 350 children ages 8–17 with chronic pain and their parents. Measures of pain characteristics, demographic characteristics, child depressive symptoms, school attendance rates, overall school functioning, parental pain catastrophizing and parental protective responses to pain were collected. Results show that, controlling for the known influences of pain intensity and child depressive symptoms, parental pain catastrophizing and parental protective responses to child pain each independently predict child school attendance rates and reports of overall school impairment. Parental protectiveness was found to mediate the association between parental cognitions (i.e. parent pain catastrophizing) and child school functioning outcomes. These findings underscore the importance of intervening with parents to foster parental responses to child pain that help children engage and succeed in the school environment despite pain.
PMCID: PMC3884564  PMID: 22169177
Chronic pain; Functional disability; Parents; Pediatric Pain; Psychosocial functioning; School functioning
5.  What do the parents of children who have chronic pain expect from their first visit to a pediatric chronic pain clinic? 
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.
To explore the expectations held by parents for their first visit to a pediatric multidisciplinary pain clinic.
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.
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.
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
6.  Sex differences in the relationship between maternal negative life events and children’s laboratory pain responsivity 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2813770  PMID: 19668092
negative life events; children’s laboratory pain; sex differences
7.  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.
PMCID: PMC1540407  PMID: 16632321
anxiety sensitivity; laboratory pain; children; adolescents; parent; sex differences
8.  Measuring parent beliefs about child acceptance of pain: A preliminary validation of the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire, parent report 
Pain  2011;152(10):2294-2300.
Parent perceptions of and responses to pain have been identified as important factors in understanding pain-related disability among children and adolescents with chronic pain. The ability to “accept” chronic pain rather than focus on ways to avoid or control it has been linked to positive outcomes in chronic pain research. To examine parent beliefs about child acceptance of pain, the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire, parent report (CPAQ-P) was developed and administered to 195 parents of children with persistent pain evaluated in a multidisciplinary pain clinic. Analyses support the internal consistency of the CPAQ-P (α= .89) and one-month stability estimates were acceptable for the total scale score (α= .72) and results suggest some responsivity to change. Exploratory factor analysis identified a two-factor model with four items removed from the original 20-item measure. Confirmatory factor analysis strongly supported the modified version. For construct validity, parent beliefs about child acceptance were negatively correlated with parent pain catastrophizing and parent fear of pain. Greater acceptance was also negatively associated protective parent responses to pain. These results support the CPAQ-P as a promising measure for assessing parent beliefs about child acceptance of pain and reinforce the importance of the social context and parental influence on child functioning.
PMCID: PMC3557831  PMID: 21783324
chronic pain; acceptance; child; assessment; parent; social context
9.  The Pain Frequency-Severity-Duration Scale as a Measure of Pain: Preliminary Validation in a Pediatric Chronic Pain Sample 
Pain Research and Treatment  2014;2014:653592.
Typically, pain is measured by intensity and sensory characteristics. Although intensity is one of the most common dimensions of pain assessment, it has been suggested that measuring pain intensity in isolation is only capturing part of the pain experience and may not lead to an accurate measurement of how pain impacts a child's daily functioning. The current study aimed to develop a measure that would capture pain intensity along with frequency and duration in a clinical sample of youth diagnosed with chronic pain. The pain-frequency-severity-duration (PFSD) scale was developed and data were collected from a multidisciplinary pain clinic at a large, midwestern children's hospital. Validated measures of functional limitations and health related quality of life were also collected. Significant correlations were found between the PFSD composite score, functional limitations, and health related quality of life. Future research should continue to evaluate this questionnaire utilizing other validated pain measures and other areas potentially impacted by chronic pain and with more diverse samples. This initial finding suggests that the PFSD is a convenient self-reported measure and is strongly related to health related quality of life and functional disability.
PMCID: PMC3918349  PMID: 24579046
10.  Systematic review of family functioning in families of children and adolescents with chronic pain 
Disturbances in family functioning have been identified in youth with chronic pain and are associated with worse child physical and psychological functioning. Assessment measures of family functioning used in research and clinical settings vary. This systematic review summarizes studies investigating relationships among family functioning, pain and pain-related disability in youth with chronic pain. Sixteen articles were reviewed. All studies were cross-sectional, seven utilized between-group comparisons (chronic pain versus healthy/control) and twelve examined within-group associations among family functioning, pain and/or pain-related disability. Studies represented youth with various pain conditions (e.g., headache, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia) aged 6 – 20 years. Findings revealed group differences in family functioning between children with chronic pain and healthy controls in five of seven studies. Significant associations emerged among family variables and pain-related disability in six of nine studies with worse family functioning associated with greater child disability; relationships between family functioning and children’s pain were less consistent. Different patterns of results emerged depending on family functioning measure used. Overall, findings showed that families of children with chronic pain generally have poorer family functioning than healthy populations, and that pain-related disability is more consistently related to family functioning than pain intensity.
PMCID: PMC2993004  PMID: 21055709
Child; adolescent; chronic pain; disability; family functioning
11.  Preliminary validation of a self-efficacy scale for child functioning despite chronic pain (child and parent versions) 
Pain  2006;125(1-2):35-42.
Despite frequent targeting of health beliefs in pediatric chronic pain treatment interventions, there are currently no reliable and valid self-efficacy measures for children with chronic pain and their parents. The current study examined the psychometric properties of parent and child versions of a self-efficacy measure related to the child functioning normally when in pain. Pediatric pain patients, 9–18 years of age, and a caregiver completed questionnaires before an initial tertiary care clinic appointment. The 67 patients in our sample had an average of 1.7 pain locations, including abdominal pain (43.3%), headaches (50.7%), body pain (25.4%), back pain (23.9%), limb pain (20.9%), and/or chest pain (9.0%). Reliability for the new measures was excellent; the Cronbach's alpha was .89 for the 7 child items and .90 for the 7 parent items. Strong evidence for construct validity was also obtained as 23 of the 27 hypothesized correlations were confirmed. As predicted, parent and child ratings of increased self-efficacy for the child functioning normally when in pain were significantly correlated with each other, and to parent reports of fewer problems functioning due to physical or emotional problems; parent reports of fewer somatic, behavioral or emotional symptoms; parent reports of increased self-esteem, and unrelated to child pain, age and gender. Additionally, child ratings of increased self-efficacy were significantly correlated with child reports of increased self-esteem and fewer somatic symptoms. Replication with a larger sample size, more complex modeling, and prospective studies are indicated.
PMCID: PMC2394279  PMID: 16740360
Pediatric chronic pain; Self-efficacy; Health belief measures
12.  Harsh Parenting in Relation to Child Emotion Regulation and Aggression 
This study presents a model of harsh parenting that has an indirect effect, as well as a direct effect, on child aggression in the school environment through the mediating process of child emotion regulation. Tested on a sample of 325 Chinese children and their parents, the model showed adequate goodness of fit. Also investigated were interaction effects between parents’ and children’s gender. Mothers’ harsh parenting affected child emotion regulation more strongly than fathers’, whereas harsh parenting emanating from fathers had a stronger effect on child aggression. Fathers’ harsh parenting also affected sons more than daughters, whereas there was no gender differential effect with mothers’ harsh parenting. These results are discussed with an emphasis on negative emotionality as a potentially common cause of family perturbations, including parenting and child adjustment problems.
PMCID: PMC2754179  PMID: 14640808
13.  Differences in Pain, Psychological Symptoms, and Gender Distribution Among Patients with Left vs. Right-Sided Chronic Spinal Pain 
Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)  2010;11(9):1373-1380.
To determine pain levels, function, and psychological symptoms in relation to predominant sidedness of pain (right or left) and gender in patients being treated for chronic spinal pain.
Prospective cohort study
Patients with chronic neck or low back pain undergoing a nerve block procedure in a speciality pain medicine clinic
Patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Brief Pain Inventory just prior to the procedure. Pain history and demographic variables were collected from a chart review. Chi-square, Pearson correlations, and multivariate statistics were used to characterize the relationships between side of pain, gender, pain levels, pain interference, and psychological symptoms.
Among 519 subjects, men with left-sided pain (n=98) were found to have significantly greater depression and anxiety symptoms and worse pain-related quality of life (p<.01), despite having similar pain levels as men with right-sided pain (n=91) or women with left or right-sided pain (n=289). In men, psychological symptoms had a significantly greater correlation with pain levels than in women (p<.01).
In this sample, men with left-sided spinal pain report worse quality of life and more psychological symptoms than women. These data provide clinical evidence corroborating basic neuroscience findings indicating that the right cerebral hemisphere is preferentially involved in the processing of pain and negative affect. These data suggest that men appear more right hemisphere dominant in pain and affect processing. These findings have implications for multidisciplinary assessment and treatment planning in men.
PMCID: PMC2972385  PMID: 20667025
chronic pain; gender; laterality; psychopathology
14.  Latina Mothers Caring for a Son or Daughter with Autism or Schizophrenia: Similarities, Differences and the Relationship Between Co-Residency and Maternal Well-Being 
Journal of family social work  2010;13(3):227-250.
In this cross-sectional study, we examined similarities and differences in depressive symptoms and psychological well-being between Latina maternal caregivers of persons with autism (N=29) and schizophrenia (N=33). We also explored predictors of maternal outcomes and the relationship of co-residence to them. Regression analysis found that mothers of adults with schizophrenia had lower levels of psychological well-being than mothers of youth or adults with autism. For the overall sample of mothers, co-residing with their son or daughter was significantly related to lower levels of depressive symptoms. Qualitative analysis of the nine mothers who lived apart from their son or daughter revealed that extreme behavior problems of the son or daughter and poor maternal health contributed to living apart. Despite overcoming these challenges, mothers expressed a profound sense of sadness about their son or daughters’ living arrangements.
PMCID: PMC2903044  PMID: 20640047
caregiving; Latinos; schizophrenia; autism; depression; psychological well-being
15.  Anxiety sensitivity, fear of pain and pain-related disability in children and adolescents with chronic pain 
Converging lines of evidence suggest that anxiety sensitivity and fear of pain may be important vulnerability factors in the development of avoidance behaviours and disability in adults with chronic pain. However, these factors have not been evaluated in children with chronic pain.
To examine the relationships among anxiety sensitivity, fear of pain and pain-related disability in children and adolescents with chronic pain.
An interview and five questionnaires (Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale, Functional Disability Inventory, Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, and Reynolds Child or Adolescent Depression Scale) were administered to 21 children and adolescents eight to 17 years of age (mean ± SD 14.24±2.21 years) who continued to experience pain an average of three years after discharge from a specialized pain clinic for children.
Anxiety sensitivity accounted for 38.6% of the variance in fear of pain (F[1,20]=11.30; P=0.003) and fear of pain accounted for 39.9% of the variance in pain-related disability (F[1,20]=11.95; P=0.003), but anxiety sensitivity was not significantly related to pain disability (R2=0.09; P>0.05).
These findings indicate that children with high levels of anxiety sensitivity had a higher fear of pain, which, in turn, was linked to increased pain disability. The results of this study suggest that anxiety sensitivity and fear of pain may play important and distinct roles in the processes that maintain chronic pain and pain-related disability in children.
PMCID: PMC2670737  PMID: 18080045
Anxiety sensitivity; Children; Chronic pain; Disability; Fear of pain
16.  Adjustment Trade-Offs of Co-Rumination in Mother-Adolescent Relationships 
Journal of adolescence  2009;33(3):487-497.
The current study examined co-rumination (i.e., extensively discussing, rehashing, and speculating about problems) in the context of mother-adolescent relationships. Fifth-, eighth-, and eleventh-graders (N = 516) reported on co-rumination and more normative self-disclosure with mothers, their relationships with mothers, and their own internalizing symptoms. A subset of mothers (N = 200) reported on mother-adolescent co-rumination and self-disclosure. Results from the adolescent-report data indicated greater mother-adolescent co-rumination with daughters than sons and also adjustment trade-offs of mother-adolescent co-rumination. Mother-adolescent co-rumination was related to positive relationship quality but also to enmeshment in the relationship. Whereas the relation with positive relationship quality appeared to be due in part to normative self-disclosure, the relation with enmeshment was unique to co-rumination. Mother-adolescent co-rumination also was related to youth anxiety/depression. The relations with enmeshment and internalizing symptoms were strongest when co-rumination focused on the mothers' problems. Implications of mother-adolescent co-rumination for promoting appropriate relationship boundaries and youth well-being are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2862851  PMID: 19616839
17.  Mother-son relationship as a risk factor for depressive symptoms among methamphetamine users 
Journal of substance use  2012;17(1):51-60.
Retrospective reports of children’s relationships with their parents have been associated with increased risk for depressive symptoms in adulthood. This study examined four dimensions of the current mother-child relationship (affection, criticism, over-involvement, conflict) in relation to depressive symptoms in a sample of 270 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). Depressive symptoms were positively associated with overt conflict or disagreement with mothers and perceived over-involvement by mothers, and inversely related to frequency of contact with mothers. These findings suggest that clinicians who treat HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM with depressive symptoms should evaluate issues in the mother-son relationship and consider family-based therapies as an adjunct to treatment.
PMCID: PMC3609666  PMID: 23543903
depressive symptoms; methamphetamine; men who have sex with men; HIV; maternal relationship
18.  What Does It Take? Comparing Intensive Rehabilitation to Outpatient Treatment for Children With Significant Pain-Related Disability 
Journal of Pediatric Psychology  2012;38(2):213-223.
Objectives This study compared outcomes between day hospital pain rehabilitation patients and patients engaged in outpatient multidisciplinary pain treatment. Methods This study included 100 children who presented for an initial tertiary care pain clinic evaluation. 50 patients enrolled in intensive day hospital pain rehabilitation and 50 patients pursued outpatient multidisciplinary treatment. Across 2 time points, children completed measures of functional disability, pain-related fear, and readiness to change and parents completed measures of pain-related fear and readiness to change. Results Across both treatment modalities, patients and parents reported improvements. Patients enrolled in intensive pain rehabilitation had significantly larger improvements in functional disability, pain-related fear, and readiness to change. Parents of day hospital patients reported larger declines in child pain-related fear and increased readiness to change compared with their outpatient counterparts. Discussion For patients with high levels of pain-related disability and distress, intensive pain rehabilitation provides rapid, dramatic improvements in functioning.
PMCID: PMC3695659  PMID: 23104827
child and adolescent; chronic pain; pain rehabilitation; treatment response
19.  Informant Discrepancies in Assessing Child Dysfunction Relate to Dysfunction Within Mother-Child Interactions 
Examined whether mother-child discrepancies in perceived child behavior problems relate to dysfunctional interactions between mother and child and stress in the mother. Participants included 239 children (6–16 years old; 58 girls, 181 boys) referred for oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior, and their mothers. Mother-child discrepancies in perceived child behavior problems were related to mother-child conflict. Moreover, maternal stress mediated this relationship. The findings suggest that discrepancies among mother and child evaluations of child functioning are not merely reflections of different perspectives or artifacts of the assessment process, but can form components of conceptual models that can be developed and tested to examine the interrelations among critical domains of child, parent, and family functioning.
PMCID: PMC3020626  PMID: 21243074
attribution bias context; disagreement; discrepancies; stress; conflict
20.  “Do You Want Somebody Treating Your Sister Like That?”: Qualitative Exploration of How African American Families Discuss and Promote Healthy Teen Dating Relationships 
Journal of interpersonal violence  2010;26(11):2165-2185.
The article discusses a study conducted between December 2007 and March 2008 that involved 19 gender-stratified focus groups with African American parents and adolescents from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, to explore the process and content of parent–adolescent communication about sex. Discussions about intimate partner violence (IPV) and healthy relationships emerge inductively as critical topics in these conversations. The authors use a grounded theory approach to content analysis to identify and organize themes related to discussions on these topics. A total of 125 participants from 52 families are recruited for the study. Family history of child sexual abuse often motivates discussions. Mothers are described as the primary parent discussing sexual issues with children. Fathers primarily role model ideal male partnership behavior for sons and daughters. Parents seek to prevent daughters from experiencing sexual abuse or emotional manipulation by partners and focus on instilling a sense of responsibility to and respect for romantic partners in sons. Parents prioritize and express the need for tools to influence their adolescent’s socialization as romantic partners. Mothers and fathers approach this process differently. Family-focused interventions to prevent unhealthy relationships can build on parent’s efforts.
PMCID: PMC3182482  PMID: 20889536
adolescents; gender-based violence; qualitative research methods; sex education; United States
21.  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.
Very few studies have investigated the psychological factors associated with the pain experiences of children and adolescents in community samples.
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.
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).
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.
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
22.  Marital Satisfaction and Parenting Experiences of Mothers and Fathers of Adolescents and Adults With Autism 
The association of marital satisfaction with parenting burden and quality of the parent–child relationship was examined in 91 married mothers and fathers of co-residing adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Within-couple differences between mothers and fathers in how child characteristics related to these parenting experiences were also evaluated. Multilevel modeling was used to control for the dependency in couple data. Marital satisfaction was an important predictor of parenting experiences, particularly for fathers. Mothers reported feeling closer to their son or daughter than did fathers. Fathers’ parenting experiences were more strongly impacted by child characteristics than were mothers’ parenting experiences. Results emphasized the connection between the marital relationship and parenting experiences and overlapping but unique experiences of mothers and fathers.
PMCID: PMC3059595  PMID: 21291312
23.  Exploring Mothers’ and Fathers’ Relationships with Sons Versus Daughters: Links to Adolescent Adjustment in Mexican Immigrant Families 
Sex roles  2009;60(7-8):559-574.
Drawing on ecological and gender socialization perspectives, this study examined mothers’ and fathers’ relationships with young adolescents, exploring differences between mothers and fathers, for sons versus daughters, and as a function of parents’ division of paid labor. Mexican immigrant families (N = 162) participated in home interviews and seven nightly phone calls. Findings revealed that mothers reported higher levels of acceptance toward adolescents and greater knowledge of adolescents’ daily activities than did fathers, and mothers spent more time with daughters than with sons. Linkages between parent-adolescent relationship qualities and youth adjustment were moderated by adolescent gender and parents’ division of paid labor. Findings revealed, for example, stronger associations between parent–adolescent relationship qualities and youth adjustment for girls than for boys.
PMCID: PMC2749271  PMID: 19779582
Adolescence; Adjustment; Mexican American; Parent–adolescent relationships
24.  A typology of pain coping in pediatric patients with chronic abdominal pain 
Pain  2007;137(2):266-275.
This study aimed to identify clinically meaningful profiles of pain coping strategies used by youth with chronic abdominal pain (CAP). Participants (n = 699) were pediatric patients (ages 8–18 years) and their parents. Patients completed the Pain Response Inventory (PRI) and measures of somatic and depressive symptoms, disability, pain severity and pain efficacy, and perceived competence. Parents rated their children’s pain severity and coping efficacy. Hierarchical cluster analysis based on the 13 PRI subscales identified pain coping profiles in Sample 1 (n = 311) that replicated in Sample 2 (n = 388). Evidence was found of external validity and distinctiveness of the profiles. The findings support a typology of pain coping that reflects the quality of patients’ pain mastery efforts and interpersonal relationships associated with pain coping. Results are discussed in relation to developmental processes, attachment styles, and treatment implications.
PMCID: PMC2760309  PMID: 17928144
25.  Ambivalent Relationship Qualities between Adults and Their Parents: Implications for Both Parties' Well-being 
This study considered implications of intergenerational ambivalence for each party's psychological well-being and physical health. Participants included 158 families (N = 474) with a son or daughter aged 22 to 49, their mother and father. Actor-Partner-Interaction Models (APIM) revealed that parents and offspring who self-reported greater ambivalence showed poorer psychological well-being. Partner reports of ambivalence were associated with poorer physical health. When fathers reported greater ambivalence, offspring reported poorer physical health. When grown children reported greater ambivalence, mothers reported poorer physical health. Fathers and offspring who scored lower in neuroticism showed stronger associations between ambivalence and well-being. Findings suggest that partners experience greater ambivalence when the other party's health declines and that personality moderates associations between relationship qualities and well-being.
PMCID: PMC2749877  PMID: 19092039

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