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Parental bonding in adolescents with and without chronic pain

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-04-01, 00:00 authored by Subhadra EvansSubhadra Evans, C Moloney, L C Seidman, L K Zeltzer, J C I Tsao
Objective: Parental responses influence children's pain; however, the specific role of parental bonding in pediatric pain has not been examined. Depressive symptomology is frequently reported in children with chronic pain (CP) and may play a role in the relationship between parental bonding and pain. This study examined the connections between maternal/paternal bonding (perceived care and control) and symptoms of pain and depression in adolescents with CP and in healthy adolescents. Method: Participants included 116 adolescents (aged 12-17) with CP (n = 55) and without (n = 61). Adolescents completed the Parental Bonding Instrument separately for their mother and father, as well as measures of depression and pain. Results: Significant associations between parental bonding and adolescent pain and depression emerged in the pain group, but not in the healthy group. There were no differences in the impact of maternal versus paternal bonding on adolescent pain and depression. Mediation analyses revealed adolescent depression was a mediator of the relationship between maternal care and adolescent pain, and paternal control and adolescent pain in the group with CP. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of considering parental bonding and adolescent depression in pediatric CP, suggesting that high paternal control and low maternal care contribute to increased pain in adolescents through heightened adolescent depressive symptoms. The findings emphasize the need for family-based treatment for CP that addresses parent behaviors and adolescent mental health.



Journal of pediatric psychology






276 - 284


Oxford University Press


Oxford, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2017, The Author