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J Pediatr Psychol. 2011 Jan;36(1):95-105. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsq070. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Self-reported and laboratory-based responses to stress in children with recurrent pain and anxiety.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology & Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Peabody 512, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203, USA. lynette.dufton@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine heart rate (HR) responses to and coping with stress in children with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), anxiety, and healthy controls.

METHODS:

A clinical sample (children with RAP and children with anxiety) was compared to control children on self-reported and HR responses to stress and a laboratory test of pain tolerance and intensity (cold pressor).

RESULTS:

Children in the clinical sample had elevated HRs compared to healthy controls before, during, and after laboratory tasks. Self-reported stress reactivity to social stress was positively correlated with HR at all study time intervals. Secondary control coping with social stress was negatively correlated with HR at most study time intervals. Internalizing symptoms were positively correlated with HR and self-reported stress reactivity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Stress reactivity, as reflected in both self-reported and HR responses to laboratory stressors, is related to the presence of both RAP and anxiety in children.

PMID:
20736388
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3021808
Free PMC Article
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