Dyadic analysis of child and parent trait and state pain catastrophizing in the process of children's pain communication
Birnie, Kathryn A
Chorney, Jill MacLaren
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Explored separately, child and parent catastrophic thoughts about child pain show robust negative relations with child pain. The objective of this study was to conduct a dyadic analysis to elucidate intra- and inter-personal influences of child and parent pain catastrophizing on aspects of pain communication, including observed behaviours and perceptions of child pain. A community sample of 171 dyads including a child aged 8-12 years (89 girls) and parent (135 mothers) rated pain catastrophizing (PCS-C and PCS-P trait and state versions), and child pain intensity and unpleasantness following a cold pressor task (CPT). Child pain tolerance was also assessed. Parent-child interactions during the CPT were coded for parent attending, non-attending, and other talk, and child symptom complaints and other talk. Data was analyzed using the actor-partner interdependence model and hierarchical multiple regressions. Children reporting higher state pain catastrophizing had greater symptom complaints regardless of level of parent state pain catastrophizing. Children reporting low state pain catastrophizing had similar high levels of symptom complaints, but only when parents reported high state pain catastrophizing. Higher child and parent state and/or trait pain catastrophizing predicted their own ratings of higher child pain intensity and unpleasantness, with child state pain catastrophizing additionally predicting parent ratings. Higher pain tolerance was predicted by older child age and lower child state pain catastrophizing. These newly identified interpersonal effects highlight the relevance of the social context to children’s pain expressions and parent perceptions of child pain. Both child and parent pain catastrophizing warrant consideration when managing child pain.
Birnie, K.A., Chambers, C.T., Chorney, J., Fernandez, C.V., & McGrath, P.J. (2016). Dyadic analysis of child and parent trait and state pain catastrophizing in the process of children's pain communication. PAIN, 157(4), 938-48. DOI: 1097/j.pain.0000000000000461