Children's Appraisal and Coping with Pain: Relation to Maternal Ratings of Worry and Restriction in Family Activities

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To examine the relation of children’s pain severity, perceived pain threat, and passive coping to maternal worry and family activities.


We assessed pain severity, perceived threat (conceptualized as beliefs about pain seriousness and coping ability), and coping strategies in 130 patients with chronic abdominal pain. Mothers rated the impact of the child’s health on maternal worry and family activities.


Controlling for pain severity, higher pain threat was associated with maternal reports of greater worry and limitations in family activities due to the child’s health. Children’s use of passive-coping strategies was not related to maternal worry or family activity limitations.


Health care providers should assess patients’ pain beliefs, correct misperceptions about pain seriousness, and help increase patients’ perceived efficacy in coping with pain.

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