A growing pediatric and adult literature highlights the role of injustice appraisals in adjustment to pain. However, interpersonal injustice dynamics have remained largely unexplored. The present study investigated the factor structure and criterion validity of parentally adjusted versions of the Injustice Experience Questionnaire, assessing child-oriented (IEQ-Pc) and self-oriented appraisals (IEQ-Ps) in the context of child pain. Participants were triads of healthy children (N = 407, Mage = 12) and both their parents and dyads of children with chronic pain (N = 319, Mage = 14) and 1 parent. In both samples, children completed measures of functional disability and quality of life (physical, emotional, social, and academic); parents completed the IEQ-Pc, IEQ-Ps, and a measure of parental catastrophizing about child pain. Across samples, a confirmatory oblique two-factor model (Severity/Irreparability-Blame/Unfairness) provided a better fit to the data compared to a one-factor model; nevertheless, the two-factor solution was considered suboptimal. A post hoc exploratory factor analysis consistently revealed 1 factor. In terms of criterion validity, the IEQ-Pc and IEQ-Ps demonstrated differential associations depending on the child's pain versus healthy status, independent of parental catastrophizing. Further, findings in the healthy sample indicated that fathers' self-oriented injustice appraisals related to lower child social function. In the clinical sample, parental child-oriented injustice appraisals related to greater child functional disability and lower physical, emotional, social, and academic function. Current findings support the unique role of parental injustice appraisals, assessed by the IEQ-Pc and IEQ-Ps, in understanding child pain, but also suggest these may only partially capture the phenomenology of parental injustice appraisals in the context of child pain. PERSPECTIVE: This manuscript presents an examination of the construct and criterion validity of 2 parentally adjusted versions of the Injustice Experience Questionnaire. These measures could be valuable tools for clinicians in examining how parents respond to their child's pain as it impacts both the child's life and the parents'.
Keywords: Children; catastrophizing; chronic pain; emotion; parents; perceived injustice.
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