Pediatric chronic pain is common and costly to children, their families, and society. Importantly, pediatric pain often persists into adulthood. Prior research suggests that parent chronic pain, particularly maternal pain, is a risk factor for the development of chronic pain in children. Existing evidence also suggests that parenting, including parental pain-related pain catastrophizing and general parenting style, are all associated with greater levels of chronic pain in children. The present study examined whether the prospective relations between parent and child pain differed between mothers and fathers, and whether parenting mediated or moderated the parent pain--child pain relations. It was hypothesized that 1a) both maternal and paternal chronic pain prospectively predicts child chronic pain, but that maternal pain would be a stronger predictor; 1b) having 0, 1, or 2 parents will increase the child’s risk of developing chronic pain; 2) maternal pain catastrophizing about their own (a) and their children’ pain (b) would mediate the relations between maternal and child pain; and 3) authoritarian parenting style (a) and negative parenting behaviors (b) would mediate the relationship between parent and child pain. Exploratory analyses tested the whether parental warmth predicted child pain, independent of mom pain. Regression models that account for twin dependency used longitudinal data collected from a sample of 895 twin children showed that maternal pain but not paternal pain predicted child pain. Maternal catastrophizing of her own pain, but not her child’s pain, significantly mediated the relation between maternal and child pain. However, maternal catastrophizing of her child’s pain predicted child pain at age 9, when controlling for child pain at age 8. All proposed relations between general parenting styles as well as warm parenting and child pain were not significant.
- Familial Transmission of Chronic Pain: The Prospective Relations Among Parent Chronic Pain, Pain-Related Parent Coping Behaviors, and General Parenting Style with Pediatric Chronic Pain