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Pain. 1993 Mar;52(3):311-7.

Children of chronic pain patients: risk factors for maladjustment.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Recent research has documented negative effects of chronic pain problems on patients' spouses and children. This study examined the adjustment of children of 35 chronic pain patients, compared with children of 29 healthy controls, and the relationship of specific parental characteristics to child adjustment. Pain group children had significantly more teacher-rated behavior problems and significantly lower teacher-rated social competence than did control group children. Children of male patients were rated by parents as significantly less socially competent than children of female patients. Compared with controls, pain patients and their spouses reported significantly more depression, and pain patients were significantly more disabled. Patient functional disability was significantly associated with parent-rated child behavior problems, but group membership, patient gender, patient depression, and patient marital satisfaction were not. Child social competence was predicted by patient gender, but was not predicted by patient depression or disability, group membership, or by patient marital satisfaction. The results suggest that children of chronic pain patients may be at risk for adjustment problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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