Race and sex differences in primary appraisals, catastrophizing, and experimental pain outcomes

Forsythe, Laura Pence, Thorn, Beverly, Day, Melissa and Shelby, Grace (2011) Race and sex differences in primary appraisals, catastrophizing, and experimental pain outcomes. Journal of Pain, 12 5: 563-572. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2010.11.003

Author Forsythe, Laura Pence
Thorn, Beverly
Day, Melissa
Shelby, Grace
Title Race and sex differences in primary appraisals, catastrophizing, and experimental pain outcomes
Journal name Journal of Pain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1526-5900
Publication date 2011-05-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jpain.2010.11.003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 12
Issue 5
Start page 563
End page 572
Total pages 10
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Language eng
Abstract The aims of this study were: 1) to examine race and sex differences in primary pain appraisals and catastrophizing; 2) to test the unique ability of race, sex, primary pain appraisals, and catastrophizing to predict experimental pain outcomes; and 3) to conduct mediational analyses testing pain appraisals and catastrophizing as explanatory mechanisms for race and sex differences in pain. One hundred and fifty-five college students at The University of Alabama completed a cold pressor experimental pain task and a questionnaire battery. Statistical methods included multivariable regression models and nonparametric bootstrapping methods for tests of mediation. African-Americans reported higher catastrophizing and had lower pain tolerance than white Americans. Males demonstrated higher challenge appraisals, lower pain intensity, and longer pain tolerance. Challenge appraisals were positively related to pain tolerance, threat/harm appraisals were inversely related to pain tolerance, and pain catastrophizing was positively related to both pain intensity and pain unpleasantness. Pain catastrophizing partially mediated race differences in pain tolerance and mediated sex differences in intensity, whereas primary pain appraisals did not significantly mediate race or sex differences in pain variables. Primary appraisals and catastrophizing appear to be separable constructs related to different aspects of the pain experience.
Keyword Appraisals
Experimental pain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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