Adult attachment and reports of pain in experimentally-induced pain

Andrews, Nicole Emma, Meredith, Pamela Joy and Strong, Jenny (2011) Adult attachment and reports of pain in experimentally-induced pain. European Journal of Pain, 15 5: 523-530. doi:10.1016/j.ejpain.2010.10.004

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Author Andrews, Nicole Emma
Meredith, Pamela Joy
Strong, Jenny
Title Adult attachment and reports of pain in experimentally-induced pain
Journal name European Journal of Pain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1090-3801
Publication date 2011-05
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ejpain.2010.10.004
Volume 15
Issue 5
Start page 523
End page 530
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Attachment theory has been proposed as a framework for understanding the development of chronic pain, with evidence supporting the overrepresentation of insecure attachment styles in chronic pain populations and links between insecure attachment and factors known to impact one’s ability to cope with pain. The present study sought to extend two earlier studies exploring the relationships between adult attachment and communication of an acute pain experience, in anticipation of providing insight into individual differences in vulnerability in development of chronic pain. It was hypothesised that: (a) fearful attachment would be associated with perceptions of the pain as less intense, and (b) anxious attachment would be associated with lower pain thresholds. A convenience sample of 82 healthy adults completed self-report measures of attachment, neuroticism, and negative affect prior to taking part in a coldpressor pain inducement task. Results demonstrated that fearful attachment was associated with lower levels of pain intensity throughout the coldpressor task. In addition, dismissing attachment was also associated with less intense pain, as well as increased coldpressor endurance (tolerance) in the presence of a known assessor. These associations were retained after controlling for measures of neuroticism, negative affect, age, and social desirability. The results of this study are consistent with the proposition that fearful and dismissing individuals tend to mask their underlying distress caused by the pain experience, potentially leading to difficulties coping with pain over time.
Keyword Attachment theory
Pain affect
Pain threshold
Pain tolerance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 23 November 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 01 Mar 2011, 14:11:47 EST by Professor Jenny Strong on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences