The role of trait mindfulness in the pain experience of adolescents
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Trait mindfulness appears to mitigate pain among adult clinical populations, and has a unique relationship with pain catastrophizing. However, little is understood about this phenomenon among adolescents. The association between trait mindfulness and pain in both real-world and experimental contexts was examined among a community sample of adolescents. Participants were 198 adolescents who completed measures of trait mindfulness, pain catastrophizing, and pain interference, as well as an interview on daily pain before undergoing an acute experimental pain task. Following the task they provided ratings of pain intensity and state catastrophizing. Results showed that in relation to daily pains, mindfulness was a significant and unique predictor of pain interference and this relationship was partially mediated by pain catastrophizing. Mindfulness also had an indirect relationship with experimental pain intensity and tolerance. These associations were mediated by catastrophizing during the pain task. These findings highlight the association between trait mindfulness and both daily and experimental pain and offer insight into how mindfulness may affect pain among youth. Findings are discussed in the context of current psychological models of pediatric pain and future avenues for research.
Petter, M., Chambers, C.T., McGrath, P.J., & Dick, B.D. (2013). The role of trait mindfulness in the pain experience of adolescents. The Journal of Pain, 14, 1709-1718. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2013.08.015. PMID: 2429045