Sex differences in the relationship between maternal negative life events and children's laboratory pain responsivity

Evans, Subhadra, Tsao, Jennie C. I., Lu, Qian, Kim, Su C., Turk, Norman, Myers, Cynthia D. and Zeltzer, Lonnie K. 2009, Sex differences in the relationship between maternal negative life events and children's laboratory pain responsivity, Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 279-288, doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181b0ffe4.

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Title Sex differences in the relationship between maternal negative life events and children's laboratory pain responsivity
Author(s) Evans, SubhadraORCID iD for Evans, Subhadra
Tsao, Jennie C. I.
Lu, Qian
Kim, Su C.
Turk, Norman
Myers, Cynthia D.
Zeltzer, Lonnie K.
Journal name Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics
Volume number 30
Issue number 4
Start page 279
End page 288
Total pages 10
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2009-08
ISSN 0196-206X
Keyword(s) Adolescent
Child Development
Cold Temperature
Hot Temperature
Logistic Models
Mother-Child Relations
Multivariate Analysis
Pain Measurement
Sex Characteristics
Stress, Psychological
Surveys and Questionnaires
Summary OBJECTIVES: Previous research has demonstrated links between psychosocial factors, including negative life events (NLE) and pain in children. This study examined sex differences in the relationship among 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 nonclinical children (89 boys) aged 8 to 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.
Language eng
DOI 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181b0ffe4
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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