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Objective. Robust evidence suggests children’s catastrophizing about their own pain is a risk factor for poor child pain-related outcomes. In children of parents with chronic pain,
child catastrophizing about their parents’ pain might be a unique predictor of child pain related outcomes given their increased exposure to parental chronic pain and disability.
The objective of this study was to examine associations between child and parent catastrophizing about their own and each other’s pain and child and parent pain-related
outcomes. Methods. Seventy-two parents with chronic pain and their children (ages 8–15) completed questionnaires assessing their trait catastrophizing about their own and each
other’s pain, their own pain, and the child’s internalizing symptoms. Children completed the cold pressor task (CPT) in the presence of their parent. Parents and children rated
children’s worst pain intensity and their own anxiety during the task. Analyses were guided by the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. Results. Greater child catastrophizing about parent pain was associated with children’s and parents’ increased catastrophizing about their own pain. Child catastrophizing about parent pain was associated with greater child- and parent-reported child internalizing symptoms and greater CPT pain intensity for the child, but not parent/child usual pain or CPT anxiety, over and above the influence of parent and child catastrophizing about their
own pain. Conclusions. Child catastrophizing about parent pain is a potential vulnerability factor associated with poor pain-related outcomes in children of parents with chronic pain that
should be considered in future research and clinical settings.
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