This study examined physician-generated pain dismissal experiences in adolescence between males and females. Young adults (ages 18-24, N = 178) with chronic or recurrent pain reported at least one pain dismissal experience in adolescence and answered a series of questions regarding the experience during this time period. Females were significantly more likely to report pain dismissal and a physician as the dismisser. Males were more likely to report that the dismisser expressed hostility toward them, feeling ambivalent regarding the dismissal experience, and a desire to avoid the dismisser. Females were more likely to report a desire to plead for understanding with the dismisser. Results suggest that female adolescents are more likely to report a pain dismissal experience with physicians, raising concerns that adolescent females may receive, or at least perceive, differential treatment for their chronic pain.
Keywords: Adolescent; chronic illness; pain.