Children's pain behaviour depend on how their parents react to deal with pain, according to a new research.
Suzyen Kraljevic, from the University Hospital Split in Croatia, and colleagues examined the relationship between pain catastrophizing specifically - or the exaggerated negative mental state in response to actual or anticipated pain experience - in parents and their first-born child.
Using a questionnaire, the researchers assessed the extent to which 285 participants were distressed in response to pain - 100 patients with chronic pain from the Pain Clinic of the University Hospital Split, 85 spouses and 100 adult children.
Since during childhood parents serve as a model that children imitate, it is possible that children use social and communicative tools that they have observed in their parents, to manage their own distress in a similar context.
"Families may develop a specific cognitive style of dealing with pain," conclude Kraljevic and colleagues.
The research is published online in Springer's International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.