Children and Parents Have Similar Responses to Pain

Children's pain experience shaped by family, sociodemographics

FRIDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant correlation between the way parents and their children respond to pain, according to a study published online March 8 in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Suzyen Kraljevic, from the University Hospital Split in Croatia, and colleagues assessed pain catastrophizing in 285 participants from 100 families using the Croatian version of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, in order to establish a relationship between pain catastrophizing in parents and their 100 adult children. Parents included in the study had a history of chronic nonmalignant pain lasting for at least three months and have lived with at least one biological child, who has been with the parent during his or her entire childhood, at least until age 18. Regression analysis was used to determine if parents' pain catastrophizing scores were linked to their children's scores.

The investigators found that there was a significant association between the pain catastrophizing score in both parents and their adult children. Parents' pain catastrophizing results significantly explained their children's results, accounting for 20 percent of the variance.

"A family may have a specific cognitive style for coping with pain, which is associated to a child's responses to pain experiences. Our results confirmed that sociodemographics plays an important part in shaping pain experience," the authors write.

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