Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents

Vierhaus M, Lohaus A, Schmitz A-K (2011)
European Journal of Pain 15(6): 621.e1-621.e8.

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Abstract
Sex differences in pain perception have been reported in an expanding literature based on adult samples in epidemiological as well as laboratory studies. Especially with respect to the latter, studies with children and adolescents do not consistently show that females report higher pain ratings and display lower pain tolerance than males. The first aim of the presented studies is to comparably examine sex differences in children and adolescents based on experimental and questionnaire approach indices of pain perception. The second aim is to examine the contribution of three prominent psychosocial factors (gender-role expectations, coping with pain, and pain self-efficacy) to these sex differences. In Study 1, a total of 118 children and adolescents from grades 5 to 9 were tested with the Cold Pressor Task (CPT) and a Pain Perception Questionnaire. In Study 2, 148 participants additionally reported on their gender-role expectations, coping with pain, and pain self-efficacy. Although the results reveal only medium-sized correlations between the CPT and the questionnaire measures, both measures indicate substantial sex differences in pain perception in both studies. In Study 2, sex differences are also present for masculinity, femininity, catastrophizing as well as pain self-efficacy. However, while the relation between sex and the CPT rating is partially mediated by pain self-efficacy, catastrophizing partially mediates the relation between sex and the questionnaire based pain ratings. The results of both studies are discussed with respect to the difference between experimental assessments of pain perception and assessments by questionnaire in children and adolescents. (C) 2010 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Vierhaus M, Lohaus A, Schmitz A-K. Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents. European Journal of Pain. 2011;15(6):621.e1-621.e8.
Vierhaus, M., Lohaus, A., & Schmitz, A. - K. (2011). Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents. European Journal of Pain, 15(6), 621.e1-621.e8.
Vierhaus, M., Lohaus, A., and Schmitz, A. - K. (2011). Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents. European Journal of Pain 15, 621.e1-621.e8.
Vierhaus, M., Lohaus, A., & Schmitz, A.-K., 2011. Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents. European Journal of Pain, 15(6), p 621.e1-621.e8.
M. Vierhaus, A. Lohaus, and A.-K. Schmitz, “Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents”, European Journal of Pain, vol. 15, 2011, pp. 621.e1-621.e8.
Vierhaus, M., Lohaus, A., Schmitz, A.-K.: Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents. European Journal of Pain. 15, 621.e1-621.e8 (2011).
Vierhaus, Marc, Lohaus, Arnold, and Schmitz, Anne-Katharina. “Sex, gender, coping, and self-efficacy: Mediation of sex differences in pain perception in children and adolescents”. European Journal of Pain 15.6 (2011): 621.e1-621.e8.
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