Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

W. Hobart Davies

Committee Members

Bonita Klein-Tasman, Jonathan Kanter, Robyn Ridley, Keri Hainsworth


Family Functioning, Health-Related Quality of Life, Longitudinal, Pediatric Chronic Pain, Quality of Life, Treatment


Pediatric chronic pain has been shown to be a relatively common condition with negative physical and psychological effects for the patient. In addition, parents and families with a child dealing with chronic pain are often also affected by the child's experiences of pain. Accordingly, several theoretical frameworks stipulate that a child's parents and family play a critical a role in how a child functions with chronic pain. While cognitive-behavioral therapies for children with chronic pain have been shown to be effective in reducing pain experiences, researchers have noted limitations in these treatment studies. Among the limitations are the lack of family integration into treatments, and data collection focusing on pain reduction as an outcome goal rather than improved child functioning. Given these limitations, the present study examined the longitudinal associations between parent and child health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in families seeking treatment for complex pediatric chronic pain. Families waiting for their intake appointment at an interdisciplinary chronic pain clinic were recruited to participate in a longitudinal study consisting of completing child and parent measures. Participants in the study were 192 families who had completed both child and mother measures at least two of the three time waves (i.e., intake, 1-month, 3-months). Patients were predominantly White (86.1%), adolescent (71.9%), and female (73.9%). Results of the study indicate that initial (i.e., intake, 1-month) self-reports of parent HRQOL and family functioning are predictive of later (i.e., 1-month, 3-months) self-reports of child HRQOL, above and beyond demographic and pain characteristics. Therefore, the present study corroborates the theoretical importance of family variables in pediatric chronic pain, and has clinical implications for its treatment.

Included in

Psychology Commons