Testing a model of pain appraisal and coping in children with chronic abdominal pain

Health Psychol. 2005 Jul;24(4):364-74. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.24.4.364.


This prospective study of children with recurrent abdominal pain (N=133; ages 8--15 years) used path analysis to examine relations among dispositional pain beliefs and coping styles, cognitions and behavior related to a specific pain episode, and short- and long-term outcomes. Children believing they could not reduce or accept pain appraised their episode-specific coping ability as low and reported passive coping behavior. Dispositional passive coping had direct effects on both episode-specific passive coping and long-term symptoms and disability. Accommodative coping (acceptance and self-encouragement) was associated with reduced episode-specific distress, which itself predicted reduced depressive symptoms 3 months later. Results suggest that coping-skill interventions for children with chronic pain should target reductions in passive coping and consider the potential benefits of accommodative coping strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires