Chronic pain and emotional distress in children and adolescents. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pediatric chronic pain continues to be relatively underinvestigated and undertreated. The objective of the present cross-sectional study was to investigate the emotional distress hypothesized to be concurrently associated with the chronic pain experience in children and adolescents. One hundred and sixty children and adolescents with chronic pain and their parents completed standardized assessment instruments measuring pain intensity, depressive symptoms, state anxiety, trait anxiety, general self-esteem, and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Consistent with the a priori Biobehavioral Model of Pediatric Pain, higher patient-perceived pain intensity was associated with higher depressive and anxious symptoms, lower general self-esteem, and higher behavior problems. The results are discussed in regard to preventing and treating pain and suffering in children and adolescents with chronic pain.

published proceedings

  • J Dev Behav Pediatr

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Varni, J. W., Rapoff, M. A., Waldron, S. A., Gragg, R. A., Bernstein, B. H., & Lindsley, C. B.

citation count

  • 100

complete list of authors

  • Varni, JW||Rapoff, MA||Waldron, SA||Gragg, RA||Bernstein, BH||Lindsley, CB

publication date

  • June 1996