Adolescent–Parent Relationships in the Context of Adolescent Chronic Pain Conditions

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Abstract

Objective

This study explored adolescent–parent relationships in families of adolescents with chronic pain.

Methods

A retrospective review was conducted on 112 adolescents with chronic pain who presented for clinical evaluation at an outpatient pediatric multidisciplinary pain management clinic. Adolescents reported on pain severity and duration, functional disability, and psychological distress. Parents responded to a measure of adolescent–parent relationship distress.

Results

The findings show that as a group, parents of adolescents with chronic pain syndromes reported less adolescent–parent relationship distress compared to normative data. Adolescent–parent relationship distress was inversely correlated with pain severity. A multiple regression model containing indicators of global psychological distress, pain severity, and adolescent–parent relationship distress predicted levels of adolescents' functional disability. Pain severity and functional disability were more closely linked at the low end of Adolescent–Parent Relationship Domain scores.

Discussion

The findings suggest important directions for future research to advance our understanding of the role of adolescent–parent relationships in the pain–disability cycle.

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